You loaded the cargo wrongly.

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Morecoffee

Senior Member
Chinese
You loaded the cargo wrongly.

Hello teachers.
I supervised some workers on the harbor loading and unloading containers.
I had a manifest and found that the containers wasn't in the right positions.
So I told them the containers were not in the right positions.
And I said "you uploaded the cargo wrongly."

I feel my sentence awkward and unnatural.
How do you feel about it?

THank you
 
  • Szkot

    Senior Member
    British English
    Your use of upload in one version of your sentence is unnatural (i.e. wrong). Otherwise your sentence is OK, though you might say wrong rather than wrongly; presumably you went on to explain in what way they had loaded them wrong(ly).
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I wouldn't use "wrongly" in this way, as it does sound awkward to me too.

    He was wrongly accused of murder.
    You are doing that all wrong.
    You are doing that the wrong way.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Yes, I suppose "You loaded the cargo wrong" is more idiomatic. Some people would say "wrong" isn't an adverb, but they'd be wrong to say that. But I don't find "You loaded the cargo wrongly" to be in any way problematic.
     

    Morecoffee

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thank you.
    I find my sentence a bit unpolite.
    Maybe I should say "I think the containers aren't in the right postions."?
    Is it ok to point out the mistake in this way?
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Well, you did say you were supervising them, so if the containers are loaded wrongly, whose fault is it? How you tell the dockers depends on your working relationship.

    "I'm awfully sorry, chaps, but I got you to load that one in the wrong place. Would you mind terribly if I ask you to lift those 25 off again so we can get all the ones for Cape Town together."
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Wrongly" would sound like you meant "unjustly" (maybe it was somebody else's cargo...?).
    That could be an AE/BE difference, or just an individual difference. I don't find anything amiss with using "wrong" or "wrongly" to mean "incorrectly". "You've done that wrong" is a perfectly normal statement to me and could be used when discussing loading containers. Both the AE and BE entries in the Wordreference dictionary include this meaning. This is the Collins entry for "wrong" as an adverb
    1. in the wrong direction or manner
    2. go wrong ⇒ to turn out other than intended
    3. to make a mistake
    4. (of a machine, etc) to cease to function properly
    5. to go astray morally
    6. get wrong ⇒ to fail to understand properly
    7. to fail to provide the correct answer to
    "wrongly" has no additional meaning.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I meant that wrongly had no additional meaning in the entry I was quoting. If appears only as a derivative of wrong with no additional meaning. I did not claim that wrongly cannot mean unjustly. In any case, that's beside the point. In this thread it's the "incorrectly" meaning that's relevant.
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I only use wrong as an adverb in set phrases such as those above (the Collins entry). In this context 'wrongly' clearly means means 'incorrectly', not 'unjustly': I personally would never advise a student of English to substitute 'incorrectly' or 'unjustly' with 'wrong'.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I only use wrong as an adverb in set phrases such as those above (the Collins entry). In this context 'wrongly' clearly means means 'incorrectly', not 'unjustly': I personally would never advise a student of English to substitute 'incorrectly' or 'unjustly' with 'wrong'.
    Not if you're talking to dockworkers. You have to remember your audience.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Thank you.
    I find my sentence a bit unpolite.
    Maybe I should say "I think the containers aren't in the right postions."?
    Is it ok to point out the mistake in this way?
    Sorry, morecoffee, I was a bit flippant when I replied to this and nobody else has addressed this question.

    You've asked us two things - can you use "wrongly" and is your sentence impolite. Copyright and I agree that in the context of talking to dockers loading a ship, the shorter form "wrong" is a good word to use.

    Looking at the second part, yes. For a supervisor to say "You've done it wrong" is abrupt and unwise. The supervisor should have supervised the task, so saying "you loaded the cargo wrong." would be likely to cause offence "Huh, why is he blaming us?". There are several ways of toning down the statement so that it is less of an accusation. Something along the lines of "I'm sorry, but it looks as though we've got those in the wrong places." would work. "I'm sorry but" implies that it's more your mistake than theirs, and "we've" also makes it clear that you're not blaming them - it's a shared mistake. They're far more likely to shrug their shoulders and adjust the load than to have an argument with you.
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Not if you're talking to dockworkers. You have to remember your audience.
    I don't speak bad English (you loaded it wrong, for example) even if I talk to someone who does and I certainly wouldn't teach it to a student of English, or at least I would make the student aware of the usage and make sure he's aware it's incorrect.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    What's "bad English" about "you loaded it wrong". It's the first meaning of "wrong" as an adverb in Collins.
    in the wrong direction or manner
    and in the Random House AE dictionary
    in a wrong manner;
    not rightly;
    awry;
    amiss
    The container is in the incorrect position on the ship. It has been loaded in the wrong manner, or not rightly. It's been loaded wrong. You loaded it wrong.
    Where's the problem?
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    There's a discussion here (grammarist.com). I quote:

    "Wrong and wrongly are both adverbs, meaning incorrectly, badly, or mistakenly. Usage authorities differ on whether usingwrong this way is acceptable, but in real-world usage, the adverbial wrong is not just widely accepted but common.

    The adverbial wrong always follows the verb it modifies (e.g., he answered wrong). It also follows the object of the verb if there is one (e.g., he answered the question wrong). And wrongly can go either before or after its verb (e.g., he was wrongly imprisoned by the state; the state imprisoned him wrongly).

    In any case, keep in mind that some consider the adverbial wrong incorrect, so writers who wish to play it safe should stick with wrongly in more formal communication".

    I am one of one of those people that "consider the adverbial wrong incorrect".
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I am one of one of those people that "consider the adverbial wrong incorrect".
    Well, I'm happy to go along with the many writers who have used "wrong" as an adverb over the past 800 or so years, including (with the meaning relevant to this thread) Pope, Hume, Jefferson and Tyndale. And examples like these cited by Oxford Online
    "The DNR showed me pictures of some markers that had been put up wrong on one of the trails."
    "They're nasty and confusing and I'm obsessed that if I fill them in wrong they'll put me in prison or something."

    It's difficult to see any justification for prescriptivism here.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    There's a discussion here (grammarist.com). I quote:

    "Wrong and wrongly are both adverbs, meaning incorrectly, badly, or mistakenly. Usage authorities differ on whether usingwrong this way is acceptable, but in real-world usage, the adverbial wrong is not just widely accepted but common.

    The adverbial wrong always follows the verb it modifies (e.g., he answered wrong). It also follows the object of the verb if there is one (e.g., he answered the question wrong). And wrongly can go either before or after its verb (e.g., he was wrongly imprisoned by the state; the state imprisoned him wrongly).
    As in "You loaded the cargo wrong."
    In any case, keep in mind that some consider the adverbial wrong incorrect, so writers who wish to play it safe should stick with wrongly in more formal communication".
    This is not a writer, but a speaker. And this is not formal communication, but a dockside lecture to a group of crane and forklift operators.
    I am one of one of those people that "consider the adverbial wrong incorrect".
    Just as some consider it wrong, others don't. And those who consider it wrong have apparently allied themselves with a usage guide that declares that it's wrong. But your Grammarist says: "Usage authorities differ on whether using wrong this way is acceptable, but in real-world usage, the adverbial wrong is not just widely accepted but common."

    To repeat the original context:
    I supervised some workers on the harbor loading and unloading containers.
    I had a manifest and found that the containers wasn't in the right positions.
    So I told them the containers were not in the right positions.
    And I said "you uploaded the cargo wrongly."
    We ask for context so that we can give the best answers, and here the context is container-loaders. I don't think they'll have much use for someone who tells them they loaded the cargo wrongly. I can hear the snickers/sniggers from here.

    Unless you're holding English classes for them, and trying to explain the nuances of why you use wrongly while the less educated use wrong, I would suggest speaking to them in terms that are more likely to be found in their own everyday speech ... especially when some usage authorities agree with that choice.

    Just my opinion, of course, just as you have yours. :)
     
    Last edited:

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    There is a difference between wrong and wrongly, but both are correct in this context.

    “You are loading the cargo wrong.” -> so that the final result will be wrong.

    Wrong is an adjective and is known as a resultative. Compare

    “He washed the windows clean (adj.).” -> he washed the windows and as a result they became clean.
    “He washed the windows cleanly." :cross:
    And
    “You are loading the cargo wrongly (adv.).” -> the actual action is not performed in the prescribed manner. (Perhaps the cargo should not be lifted, but rolled into place.)
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    “You are loading the cargo wrong.” -> so that the final result will be wrong.

    Wrong is an adjective and is known as a resultative. ...
    It's not an adjective there for me*, Paul: it's an adverb.

    ....

    *Or, I think, for anyone else in the thread;).
     

    siares

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    I see a difference between the cargo and the windows in the resultative adjective context. As a result of the verb to wash, the window is now clean: this is a clean window. But I think in this context we cannot say: this is a wrong/bad cargo. What do you think?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    It's not an adjective there for me*, Paul: it's an adverb.

    ....

    *Or, I think, for anyone else in the thread;).
    Fortunately, grammar is not democratic and votes make no difference. :D

    I can understand why, with such a title as
    The Syntax of Aspect: Deriving Thematic and Aspectual Interpretation by Nomi Erteschik-Shir and Tova Rapoport it has been overlooked although it has been cited a number of times. If you have no subscription and wisely are unwilling to fork out, then the relevant (to my post) section of the paper in pdf format is available. (http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~wechsler/result-homomorphism.pdf) It makes an interesting read and explains a lot - including the distinction between adverbs and adjectives. :thumbsup:
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    There is a difference between wrong and wrongly, but both are correct in this context.

    “You are loading the cargo wrong.” -> so that the final result will be wrong.

    Wrong is an adjective and is known as a resultative. Compare

    “He washed the windows clean (adj.).” -> he washed the windows and as a result they became clean.
    “He washed the windows cleanly." :cross:
    And
    “You are loading the cargo wrongly (adv.).” -> the actual action is not performed in the prescribed manner. (Perhaps the cargo should not be lifted, but rolled into place.)
    I agree with Loob, Paul. In the sentence "I loaded the cargo wrong" the usage is clearly adverbial (wrong is used to mean wrongly/incorrectly).

    Edit. Thanks for the article.:)
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    You read the article and you disagree that it is a resultative... How?

    And how to explain:
    “He washed the windows clean (adj.).” -> he washed the windows and as a result they became clean.
    “He washed the windows cleanly." :cross:
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    You read the article and you disagree that it is a resultative... How?

    And how to explain:
    “He washed the windows clean (adj.).” -> he washed the windows and as a result they became clean.
    “He washed the windows cleanly." :cross:
    I agree with siares' reasoning:

    I see a difference between the cargo and the windows in the resultative adjective context. As a result of the verb to wash, the window is now clean: this is a clean window. But I think in this context we cannot say: this is a wrong/bad cargo. What do you think?

    Result: clean window.:thumbsup:
    Result: wrong cargo.:thumbsdown:
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    As LC says, Siares, in post 24, put her finger on the difference, Paul.

    But as you say, this isn't an election: if you wish to draw a parallel between I loaded the cargo wrong and I washed the window clean, it's no skin off my nose;).
     
    Last edited:

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I see a difference between the cargo and the windows in the resultative adjective context. As a result of the verb to wash, the window is now clean: this is a clean window. But I think in this context we cannot say: this is a wrong/bad cargo. What do you think?
    I can see why you say that, if it is loaded in a certain manner then the cargo (the OP uses cargo to mean "the arrangement of the cargo" and that is permissible) becomes wrong: "the containers wasn't [sic] in the right positions." i.e. either for weight distribution or discharging.

    The action loading of the cargo wasn't, of itself, 'wrongly done' (e.g. hoists were wrongly used rather than Ro-Ro vehicles) - but now that it is loaded the result is that the cargo is in a state of being wrong/incorrect for the voyage that the vessel will make.

    It may be marginal and, in this case, not matter a lot, but the default of wrong is adjectival and the default of wrongly is adverbial - we should have good reason to change this arrangement, and I don't think we have.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    The action loading of the cargo wasn't, of itself, 'wrongly done'
    Of course it was. If it was correctly done the containers would be in the correct places, not in the incorrect places.
    Not in the right or proper way; in an improper or unfitting manner; improperly, unduly, amiss.
    Or if you prefer
    Out of proper order or due place.
    Source: OED

    They were certainly loaded out of proper order. The error was made in the loading, not after it. The dockers loaded the containers wrongly.

    If I teach you to tie a bowline (or in this context, perhaps a "stevedore's knot" :rolleyes: ) and you pass the line in the wrong pattern, you'll be doing it wrong. There's no adjective there.
     

    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    You don't need grammarians, Morecoffee, you need a human-relations expert.
    Forget about "wrong" and "wrongly": Nobody reacts well to being told they've done something wrong.
    Listen to Andygc in #16,
    and move on to what needs to be done as a correction.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Cenzontle has made a useful suggestion.

    Disagreements about grammatical terminology and what constitutes grammatical correctness are unlikely to be resolved.

    This thread is closed.

    Cagey, moderator.
     
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