Archive for July 8, 2008

How many in a couple?

When I was in my primary and secondary years, I had the impression that a couple was synonymous with a few. Later I came to realise from my discussion with native speakers of English that it can also mean two. This can prove problematic in certain cases.

I remember watching a talk show where the host introduced a couple of books written by his guest. Most Malaysians would assume that it meant a few but as the interview unfolded, it was clear that only 2 books were discussed.

My stand is that if it is more than two, it’s better to say a few. This is because when couple was first coined, it meant two. Therefore, when we refer to a man and a woman who are meant for each other, they are a couple. However that becomes a bit difficult to define if the man is polygamous. What would you call a man with three wives? A couple? A few?

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July 8, 2008 at 8:38 pm 3 comments


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