windfalls

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marvoltolina

New Member
italy
hello guys,I'm new I've just logg-in
does anyone know what "windfalls" mean in economics?and can you make me a tipical sentence with it.
thanks a lot!
 
  • FRENFR

    Senior Member
    English
    A windfall is a sudden gain of money which you receieve unexpectedly.
    To have a windfall.

    Last year, Sony receieved a windfall in it's second quarter of business reviews.

    Do NOT use this with "to receieve a windfall" because WINDFALL means to receive unexpectedly, so it doesn't make sense to say "i recieved a windfall"...

    How about that?
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Welcome to these forums marvoltolina.

    A windfall profit is an unexpected profit.
    A windfall, generally, is something positive that could not possibly have been planned for.

    When posting here, please take care to use capital letters where they would normally be expected in English:

    Hello guys. I'm new. I've just logged in.
    Does anyone know what "windfalls" means in economics? And could you give me a typical sentence using it?
    Thanks a lot!
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    FRENFR said:
    A windfall is a sudden gain of money which you receieve unexpectedly.
    [...] it doesn't make sense to say "I received a windfall"...

    How about that?
    Last September I received a windfall when my long-lost Great-Uncle Tom died in Canada, leaving me his entire estate.
     

    FRENFR

    Senior Member
    English
    But how can you receieve something as an unexpected reciept? It's a double positive and sounds silly. It IS wrong too. It's like saying I'm going for a run to dash off... Dash IMPLIES the running, and speed, so you don't imply it two times. Some might well use it, but it is wrong, and we teach foreign people how to speak proper English here withuot confusing them about regional choices!

    To receieve a windfall is grammatically wrong, trust me.

    To have a windfall/to be involved in a windfall, are ok.

    Sorry to hear about your long-lost Great-Uncle.
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    I don't understand how "windfall" came to carry connotations of unexpectedness (but I accept that it does) - as the original windfalls were fruit blown down off the trees by the wind. Fruit is highly visible and can be anticipated. It can even be expected. All the wind does is (using a midwifery term here) "induce" its arrival.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    FRENFR said:
    But how can you receieve something as an unexpected reciept? It's a double positive and sounds silly. It IS wrong too. It's like saying I'm going for a run to dash off... Dash IMPLIES the running, and speed, so you don't imply it two times. Some might well use it, but it is wrong, and we teach foreign people how to speak proper English here withuot confusing them about regional choices!

    To receieve a windfall is grammatically wrong, trust me.
    Please explain why you are so absolutely convinced this is wrong.

    FRENFR said:
    To receieve a windfall is grammatically wrong, trust me.

    To have a windfall/to be involved in a windfall, are ok.
    First of all, my usual caution about using Google - but as an indicator of usage, treated with caution, it is useful.

    about 31,700 for "receive a windfall"

    about 11,800 for "have a windfall".

    about 32 for "involved in a windfall".
     

    emma42

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Be involved in a windfall"? That, to my ears, is a very strange construction.

    There is nothing wrong with "Receive a windfall". The ground receives a windfall of apples; I receive a windfall when my boss realises he has been underpaying me for ten years and wants to make up the difference!
     

    GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    fenfr said:
    A windfall is a sudden gain of money which you receieve unexpectedly. To have a windfall.

    Last year, Sony receieved a windfall in it's second quarter of business reviews.

    Do NOT use this with "to receieve a windfall" because WINDFALL means to receive unexpectedly, so it doesn't make sense to say "i recieved a windfall"...

    I'm sorry. I'm confused. I think you are contradicting yourself.

    First you use a sentence using "receive," then you advise marvoltolina to NOT use "receive" with windfall.

    Can you tell us how one otherwise acquires a windfall if one doesn't receive one?

    The inheritance from my grandmother provided quite a windfall for my mother.

    I received a windfall when my numbers came up in the lotto.

    Above-average 3rd quarter earnings gave XYZ corporation a much-needed windfall and boosted their stock prices.
     

    FRENFR

    Senior Member
    English
    I can't believe my eyes!

    Well, here is my defense.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/windfall (primary meaning)

    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=90728&dict=CALD (primary meaning)


    http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/windfall (main meaning)

    http://www.investorwords.com/cgi-bin/getword.cgi?5320 (primary meaning)

    http://www.yourdictionary.com/ahd/w/w0169300.html (primary meaning)

    Are you getting bored yet? I am...

    I typed in "dictionary" to google, and used these links in order from first to fifth. What more can I say?

    My first post was therefore correct. Whats your problem you lot?

    And Emma. I used recieved not in the same sentence as the word "windfall". I was just explaining (clearly) that one recieves a monetry gain. I also (clearly) stated that receieve a windfall is a double positive - and shoudn't really be used together as grammar goes - I also pointed out (clearly) that we are here to help teach regular rules, and not necerssarily localised choices which may well be unique to one area.

    "I don't want no apples" - double negative? Yes. I recieved a windfall" - double positive? Yes. We may well say it, but technically it is implying the same thing two times. What more can I say?
     

    A90Six

    Senior Member
    England - English.
    FRENFR said:
    I can't believe my eyes!

    Well, here is my defense.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/windfall (primary meaning)

    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=90728&dict=CALD (primary meaning)


    http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/windfall (main meaning)

    http://www.investorwords.com/cgi-bin/getword.cgi?5320 (primary meaning)

    http://www.yourdictionary.com/ahd/w/w0169300.html (primary meaning)

    Are you getting bored yet? I am...

    I typed in "dictionary" to google, and used these links in order from first to fifth. What more can I say?

    My first post was therefore correct. Whats your problem you lot?

    And Emma. I used recieved not in the same sentence as the word "windfall". I was just explaining (clearly) that one recieves a monetry gain. I also (clearly) stated that receieve a windfall is a double positive - and shoudn't really be used together as grammar goes - I also pointed out (clearly) that we are here to help teach regular rules, and not necerssarily localised choices which may well be unique to one area.

    "I don't want no apples" - double negative? Yes. I recieved a windfall" - double positive? Yes. We may well say it, but technically it is implying the same thing two times. What more can I say?
    From you r first link:


    windfall
    An unexpected profit or gain. An investor holding a stock that increases greatly in price because of an unexpected takeover offer receives a windfall.

    From your second link:

    an amount of money that you win or receive from someone unexpectedly:an amount of money that you win or receive from someone unexpectedly:

    From your fourth link:

    windfall

    Definition

    Money received which was not expected and not a direct result of something the recipient did.



    I still cannot see why you object to receive a windfall.
     

    FRENFR

    Senior Member
    English
    For the last time as this is getting silly and very unprofessional, and I quote (twice)

    "I also (clearly) stated that receieve a windfall is a double positive - and shoudn't really be used together as grammar goes"

    " "I don't want no apples" - double negative? Yes. "I recieved a windfall" - double positive? Yes. We may well say it, but technically it is implying the same thing two times.

    ?????OK?????
     

    A90Six

    Senior Member
    England - English.
    FRENFR said:
    For the last time as this is getting silly and very unprofessional, and I quote (twice)

    "I also (clearly) stated that receieve a windfall is a double positive - and shoudn't really be used together as grammar goes"

    " "I don't want no apples" - double negative? Yes. "I recieved a windfall" - double positive? Yes. We may well say it, but technically it is implying the same thing two times.

    ?????OK?????
    Your own defence in dictionary.reference.com uses the two words together in a sentence in its description of the word.

    Perhaps you could make it clearer if you could say what words you would combine to tell someone that you had received a windfall.
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    maxiogee said:
    I don't understand how "windfall" came to carry connotations of unexpectedness (but I accept that it does) - as the original windfalls were fruit blown down off the trees by the wind. Fruit is highly visible and can be anticipated. It can even be expected. All the wind does is (using a midwifery term here) "induce" its arrival.
    Well, the wind itself is erratic-- sometimes it will cause windfall, sometimes not. The conspicuous nature of fruit is no indicator of when (or even whether) there will be windfall. It won't generally blow down fruit that isn't already ripe for the picking.

    Also nuts are also involved in windfall, and they are more camouflaged in the trees than fruit is.

    Finally, trees themselves are sometimes available for harvest due to windfall.

    Well, I'm taking your point at face value for the sake of examining a word. But you were being a little whimsical, no?

    In AE, especially in the west, we don't use the word except in the figurative sense of a sudden financial benefit that comes out of nowhere. We call the literal stuff blowdown.

    My mother's family had pear orchards and sheep, and owned a big kiln for firing all the hops produced in the region. The first hard work I ever did, at age 7, was to gather blowdown and feed it to the sheep. I got 10 cents a crateful, and that was pretty good money.

    Good, but not exactly a windfall.
    .
     

    FRENFR

    Senior Member
    English
    To have a windfall. To get a windfall/recieve a windfall sound silly to my ears because of the reasons I have given countless times. Be aware I am not saying I wouldn't use it, or complain if someone did, but grammatically, a double positive/negative is wrong.

    Surely I can be left in peace now?
     

    A90Six

    Senior Member
    England - English.
    Sorry FRENFR, but I can't see your objection. I cannot find reference anywhere to a rule or guide to the non-use of double positives. I don't even hold with the blanket guide for non-use of double negatives.

    From http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/have

    HAVE
    6 b. To receive; get

    I apologise, but I can't leave it. If your objection is confusing me, a native, I can only wonder what effect it may have on those trying to learn English.
     

    FRENFR

    Senior Member
    English
    So "I don't want no apples" is acceptable to you?

    "I don't even hold with the blanket guide for non-use of double negatives"

    I could talk with colleagues about this endlessly, and it would be understood that to recieve something which, when the "noun" being recieved, already implies that it is received, is placed after "to recieve + noun" - it's a double reference, and it something we "shouldn't" do in English, but like I have said, we sometimes do.

    I cannot think of another example at 2am on Saturday morning after a few drinks with friends, but I am sure you understand my reasoning. It's not apoint of view, it's just a grammatical fact/usage fact. Sure, I might say "I recieved a windfall from my company", but, even so, I'd know it's wrong - but I'd perhaps be around people who don't even know what it is so wouldn't question me. You see?

    However, if I am trying to indicate to a student/other body that a double reference is nonsensical, I would not encourage the use of "to recieve a windfall" because a windfall already in itself implies it is recieved. Can you not see my point? I can't say it any more times, any more clearly.

    Here's to this Saturday afternoon's responses!
     

    GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    For the last time as this is getting silly and very unprofessional, and I quote (twice)

    "I also (clearly) stated that receieve a windfall is a double positive - and shoudn't really be used together as grammar goes"

    " "I don't want no apples" - double negative? Yes. "I recieved a windfall" - double positive? Yes. We may well say it, but technically it is implying the same thing two times.

    ?????OK?????

    Frenfr,

    Sorry to keep rubbing salt in the proverbial wound, but if you look carefully at the dictionary entry as cited by the cambridge link you provided, the sample sentence clearly states:
    Investors each received a windfall of £3000.

    Surely an authority of Cambridge's rank and reputation would not print something that were grammatically incorrect or illogical.
     

    Fedora

    Senior Member
    Guyana/English
    FRENFR,

    What alternative do you suggest? If you say receive is wrong then get and have are also wrong since they are synonyms of receive in these sentences. Your only alternative would be to say that the company/ person/ whatever was winfalled. That is wrong.

    According to your first source a windfall is: A sudden, unexpected piece of good fortune or personal gain OR An unexpected profit or gain. (Source).


    What is wrong with the following sentences?
    • I received a sudden, unexpected piece of good fortune or personal gain.
    • The company received an unexpected profit or gain.
    In fact you yourself used receive a windfall in your first post.

    FRENFR said:
    A windfall is a sudden gain of money which you receieve unexpectedly.
    To have a windfall.

    Last year, Sony receieved a windfall in it's second quarter of business reviews.

    Do NOT use this with "to receieve a windfall" because WINDFALL means to receive unexpectedly, so it doesn't make sense to say "i recieved a windfall"...

    How about that?
     

    A90Six

    Senior Member
    England - English.
    FRENFR said:
    So "I don't want no apples" is acceptable to you?
    No it isn't.

    I don't consider it ungrammatical to use a double negative in a sentence.

    I wouldn't think it improper to use double negatives when appropriate.

    You can't deny that double negatives may prove useful.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    If one were to assume that a "double positive" is a grammatical
    problem--I don't share that assumption--then I would still be comfortable with it in all but the most stilted, excessively formal writing. It serves to give emphasis to an idea. I don't think anyone here is advocating the elimination of emphatic expressions.

    We can receive unexpected gifts. The receipt of a gift is a common occurence, yet a gift is, by definition, something with a recipient. Is that also redundant?

    Rewards are given and received. That is, I suppose, another double positive. They differ from windfalls in that they may be expected at times, but they are not always anticipated.
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    FRENFR, please note that three of the five dictionary references you attached in your post #10 do NOT use the word "receive" in the definitions, and two of them use a form of the word receive in the sample sentence. A90Six quoted those sentences already.

    The double negative/positive argument does not apply here. Perhaps you mean that it is redundant to say that you received "something you receive." But your alternative "had" (the American equivalent would probably be "got") is a relatively weak or flat-sounding verb, and I think receive really is more appropriate.

    Let's try a more closely related example.
    I received a bonus at work.
    A bonus is "something you receive for doing a good job", but I contend that received is nevertheless perfectly acceptable.
     

    FRENFR

    Senior Member
    English
    I am astounded. I don't want no apples? Ok? Goodness me.

    If I may quote from wikipedia to maintain my argument regarding double negatives:

    "
    In today's standard English, double negatives are not used; for example the standard English equivalent of "I don't want nothing!" is "I don't want anything". It should, however, be noted that in standard English one cannot say "I don't want nothing!" to express the meaning "I want something!" unless there is very heavy stress on the "don't" or a specific "whiny" stress on the "nothing".
    Although they are not used in standard English, double negatives are used in various American English dialects, including African American Vernacular English, and the East London Cockney and East Anglian dialects and less frequently, but still commonly, in colloquial English. In the film Mary Poppins, Dick Van Dyke uses a double negative when he says
    If you don't want to go nowhere. "I strongly recommend that people read the entire link; it's very interesting and even uses the "no apples" example that I gave, and talks about double negation

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_negative

    Referring to "to receive a windfall", for the last and final time (oops, doubling up again), I have said that I might well use it, or accept it when I hear it, but when it is under scrutiny - it comes out as a double negative, and double negatives are not, technically, to be used (although we do sometimes, like in this example).

    Do we agree to disagree? Have I made myself clear?
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    As others have pointed out, several of your links use the word "receive" in conjunction with "windfall" - and more importantly, none of them proscribe it.

    We really only have your convoluted logic saying that it is ungrammatical, but we don't know what grounds you have for saying that. Can you quote an authority, or source, for this "double positive" assertion of yours?
    If double positives are as ungrammatical as double negaqtives, then where's the wikipedia article, or any article, to validate that?
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    FRENFR said:
    [...]Do we agree to disagree? Have I made myself clear?
    You have made yourself very, very clear.
    But as there is no evidence whatsoever, apart from your assertions, that receive a windfall is in any way objectionable, it is important that we also make clear to anyone reading this thread that you are in a minority - of one.

    Those wishing to continue the discussion on double negatives should either post on an existing double negative thread or open a new one. This thread is already convoluted enough without tangling in that debate:)
     

    FRENFR

    Senior Member
    English
    Wikipedia, Ladefoged, Peter and Maddieson, Ian (1996). The Sounds of the World's Languages. Blackwell Publishers.

    "The use of the double-positive, "Yeah, right," which in colloquial native English is a flippant way of saying "No" but to an Indian speaker of English, is merely a double affirmation of correctness".

    -----

    "We have 18th century mathematician and grammarian Robert Lowth to thank for the received wisdom that two negatives are ungrammatical. In his 1762 book A Short Introduction to English Grammar, Lowth, who was enamoured of Latin-derived logical models, decreed that two negatives cancel each other out and create a positive; until that time, two negatives were taken to reinforce each other. Lowth's rule, though arbitrary and invented, has become "truth", as has his insistence that sentences should not end in prepositions, that split infinitives are ungrammatical, and that "they" cannot be used as a gender-neutral pronoun.

    -----

    http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=14&t=489&m=43

    This link is interesting and Mr jack highlights something that hasn't come to mind. If you read, you'll see that he refers to something not being "formally gramatically correct" but rather "english usage grammatically correct". I suppose my double-positive idea would fall under the latter, but not the former.. Or, as I have said, I do accept its usage, but will not conform to the idea it is perfectly correct grammar.

    I don't want no apples, if someone said this to me, I'd be most confused and wonder why they can't talk properly. Same goes with receiving something which, in itself, is something received. Someone here mentioned a "bonus" being something receieved. Well, sure, and you don't always expect it so yes..we would say "I receieved/got a bonus", but, as "proper" English ideas go, and not "current" ideas, as mentioned above, the same thing is being implied two times - and is not necerssary to do so, it's just how we structure the sentence... However, under scrutiny, as I tire of saying, it is a double positive/double negative and is therefore not technically correct.. once more, despite being used!!
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    FRENFR said:
    "We have 18th century mathematician and grammarian Robert Lowth to thank for the received wisdom that two negatives are ungrammatical. In his 1762 book A Short Introduction to English Grammar, Lowth, who was enamoured of Latin-derived logical models, decreed that two negatives cancel each other out and create a positive"

    But two positives do not cancel each other.

    FRENFR said:
    I don't want no apples, if someone said this to me, I'd be most confused and wonder why they can't talk properly.

    Would you not think it even stranger to hear "I want no apples"? That's a negative construction I don't think I've come across. However literature is full of "I don't want no…", usually used in situations where someone is being fobbed off with less than they feel they deserve…

    Customer: "I wish to see the manager about this faulty product which injured my child."
    Receptionist: I'm sorry madam, our manager is unavailable, I have someone from our complaints department who could see you…
    Customer: Complaints department? I don't want no complaints department, I demand to see the manager!
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    FRENFR,

    Please stop evading the issue, or clouding it by discussing double negatives.

    I am sure that we are all happy to agree that you are entitled to your own personal view on this matter.

    There is no evidence in this thread that "received a windfall" is in any way objectionable. Entirely the opposite. All the evidence produced so far, including by you, supports that use.

    There is no evidence in this thread to suggest that a double positive is in any way objectionable - apart from your assertion.
     

    emma42

    Senior Member
    British English
    Most people seem to be saying that there has to be a degree of uncertainty in "windfall". I think there is, or could be, a degree of certainty in "windfall" (if one can have a "degree" of certainty). Chambers agrees.

    Although we do not know exactly when the apples will fall from the tree, it is certain (in England!) that the wind will blow them down at some time in the autumn.

    We might get an unexpected windfall tax rebate, but we might also receive an expected windfall - the Inland Revenue has told us to expect a rebate. So, "unexpected windfall" is not a tautology, is it?
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    emma42 said:
    We might get an unexpected windfall tax rebate, but we might also receive an expected windfall - the Inland Revenue has told us to expect a rebate. So, "unexpected windfall" is not a tautology, is it?

    The unexpectedness of the tax rebate is down to either our lack of knowledge of the tax laws, or our employer's over-deduction of tax from our pay. Either way we have it in our power to be aware of these things and the unexpectedness is not real - it is only perceived.

    To be really unexpected, an apple or other fruit windfall would have to be the result of an unpredictable wind/gale. The wind might be unpredicatble, but that the fruit would fall given either time or a strong enough gust is not. As the fruit ripens the required windstrength decreases. It's all quite predictable.

    As to someone getting a windfall from the Lottery - what did they think would happen when they bought the ticket? :confused: :rolleyes:
     

    emma42

    Senior Member
    British English
    But, Tony, "perceived" unexpectedness is as real to the person perceiving it as "real" unexpectedness. Philosophy has argued these matters for millenia. And we might not always "have it in our power to be aware of these things" - what if we cannot read, or are incapable of understanding these things, either inherently or temporarily?

    Also, if the fruit falls "given time" this could be due to the fruit no longer having the strength within itself to hang on to the branch and nothing to do with wind. Or hot air.:D ;)
     

    FRENFR

    Senior Member
    English
    I've never been in a such an unprofessional, petty argument over apples blowing off of trees. It is most amusing in some ways though. My final voice on the matter until I move on to helping others elsewhere...

    "However, literature is full of "I don't want no…", usually used in situations where someone is being fobbed off with less than they feel they deserve…" - agreed. But it is colloquial, which means it doesn't fit with set grammar rules. I have said that. I have also said something like this: I am very aware that it is said as receieve a windfall, and I would perhaps use it myself, but it is not a "correct" rule of grammar, however popular it is. An endless (well, very long) list could easily be created of things which don't fit into grammar but we still use - and this just happens to be one - however popular it is. Settled?

    "Please stop evading the issue, or clouding it by discussing double negatives". It's hardly clouding. The whole thing started as my first response said that one shouldn't use windfall with recieve technically. I was not writing new English Grammar rules, I was simply referring to the fact it's not technically right, even though we do say it.

    GenJen54. Thank you for the link.

    Emma and Max. Have fun with that one!

    I am quite aware of my own language and various "incorrect" colloquialisms. I think a thread to help learners of English come across anti-grammatical, yet widely accepted terms in English is called for. But someone else can start that!
     
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