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boron
02-01-2012, 07:16 PM
Does "twice faster" sound strange?

alleycat
02-01-2012, 07:19 PM
Twice as fast sounds more normal to me.

boron
02-01-2012, 07:22 PM
Because "twice" doesn't go with...anything and is meant as a standalone word?

Vemy Paw
02-01-2012, 07:29 PM
I can understand twice faster, but as Alleycat said, I see twice as fast used more often.

tmesis
02-01-2012, 08:12 PM
"Two times faster" or "twice as fast" would be more much more usual and therefore far more understandable. Google backs this up:

"Two times faster": 13.7 million hits.
"Twice as fast": 23.6 million hits.
"Twice faster": < 0.5 million hits, many of which seem to be saying it's not an expression.

QuantumIguana
02-01-2012, 08:15 PM
If there are so many hits saying it isn't an expression, that is pretty solid evidence that it IS an expression. I don't think I would use 'twice faster', but I'd have to see how it was used in a given text.

tmesis
02-01-2012, 08:20 PM
If there are so many hits saying it isn't an expression, that is pretty solid evidence that it IS an expression. I don't think I would use 'twice faster', but I'd have to see how it was used in a given text.

I'd agree if there were, say, 5m hits instead of 0.5m. As it is, I'd guess that those 0.5m might stem from non-native speakers trying it out as an expression, or maybe academic writers using it in a specific context.

boron
02-01-2012, 08:22 PM
Ben is twice faster than Jen.
Chronic alcoholics may eliminate alcohol twice faster than moderate drinkers.

Captcha
02-01-2012, 08:35 PM
Ben is twice faster than Jen.

Chronic alcoholics may eliminate alcohol twice faster than moderate drinkers.

No to both, to my ear. 'Ben is twice as fast as Jen' or 'may eliminate alcohol twice as fast'. I don't think it's just idiomatic, either. I don't know the words, but 'faster' is comparative, so 'twice faster' isn't really clear...

Like, say Jen travelled at 15 km/h. If Ben is twice as fast, he travels at 30 km/h. But if he's twice faster, there's an element of comparison in the word 'faster' and I don't know what to compare the speed to. If there was a third speed, somewhere...

Jamesaritchie
02-01-2012, 10:58 PM
It not only sounds strange, it's horribly incorrect, no matter who uses it, or how.

absitinvidia
02-01-2012, 11:10 PM
Twice as fast is correct.
Twice faster is wrong.

veinglory
02-01-2012, 11:47 PM
Yes it sounds strange. C.f. twice as fast or two times as fast.

CaroGirl
02-01-2012, 11:54 PM
Twice as fast is correct.
Twice faster is wrong.

This.

And never write "two times." That's what the word "twice" is for. (Unless you're in math class.)

tmesis
02-01-2012, 11:59 PM
And never write "two times." That's what the word "twice" is for. (Unless you're in math class.)

What? Why not?

CaroGirl
02-02-2012, 12:21 AM
What? Why not?

Because, well, that's what the word twice is for. And it sounds childish. Like I can picture someone (generally a three-year-old) holding up two fingers to illustrate.

"He ran around the track two times! Yesterday night."

tmesis
02-02-2012, 12:27 AM
Because, well, that's what the word twice is for. And it sounds childish. Like I can picture someone (generally a three-year-old) holding up two fingers to illustrate.

"He ran around the track two times! Yesterday night."

"Two times" gets 26.8m google hits. That's a lot of three-year-olds cluttering up the internet. Where are their parents during all this? That's what I'd like to know.

mirandashell
02-02-2012, 12:36 AM
The point is that 'two times' makes you sound childish

tmesis
02-02-2012, 12:40 AM
The point is that 'two times' makes you sound childish

I understand the point, however I see no evidence for it, because no evidence has been offered for it. Repetition of the claim does not make it true.

veinglory
02-02-2012, 12:43 AM
The point is that 'two times' makes you sound childish

I disagree, with the meaning "multiplied by two" (c.f. your example which means "twice") it is a perfectly normal expression.

CaroGirl
02-02-2012, 12:46 AM
I understand the point, however I see no evidence for it, because no evidence has been offered for it. Repetition of the claim does not make it true.

I have a question for you. Why would you want to use two times when there's a more succinct single word for it and using the term sounds childish to many readers?

In my opinion, it's equivalent to saying, "She was more brave than her brother" instead of "She was braver than her brother." Why use two words to say what can be said (more correctly and succinctly) in one? Again, it sounds "off" and childish to my ear.

QuantumIguana
02-02-2012, 12:49 AM
I see nothing childish about 'two times'. People might say 'two times' or might say 'twice', neither one is going to raise eyebrows.

mirandashell
02-02-2012, 12:49 AM
I understand the point, however I see no evidence for it, because no evidence has been offered for it. Repetition of the claim does not make it true.


And you have offered no evidence against it. So there you go.

Repetition of the counter-argument doesn't make it false.

mirandashell
02-02-2012, 12:50 AM
I disagree, with the meaning "multiplied by two" (c.f. your example which means "twice") it is a perfectly normal expression.

Two times meaning multiplied by two is a mathematical usage. And that's already been exempted.

mirandashell
02-02-2012, 12:51 AM
I see nothing childish about 'two times'. People might say 'two times' or might say 'twice', neither one is going to raise eyebrows.


Well, maybe not yours but it would raise mine.

tmesis
02-02-2012, 12:57 AM
I have a question for you. Why would you want to use two times when there's a more succinct single word for it and using the term sounds childish to many readers?

In my opinion, it's equivalent to saying, "She was more brave than her brother" instead of "She was braver than her brother." Why use two words to say what can be said (more correctly and succinctly) in one? Again, it sounds "off" and childish to my ear.

Quite frankly, I don't care if you think it sounds childish, because as far as I can tell you just pulled that opinion out of nowhere.

I can think of many reasons why it might be better to use two words than one, e.g. rhythm/flow/cadence/alliteration, etc.

And you have offered no evidence against it. So there you go.

Oh for...

"Burdon of proof". Google it.

mirandashell
02-02-2012, 01:00 AM
Don't be ridiculous. Many people's opinion is that 'two times' sounds childish. Your opinion is that it doesn't. There is no burden of proof for opinion.

Get over yourself.

veinglory
02-02-2012, 01:02 AM
Two times meaning multiplied by two is a mathematical usage. And that's already been exempted.

It's the exact usage OP is asking about.

tmesis
02-02-2012, 01:03 AM
Don't be ridiculous. Many people's opinion is that 'two times' sounds childish. Your opinion is that it doesn't. There is no burden of proof for opinion.

Get over yourself.

WHICH 'many people'?

mirandashell
02-02-2012, 01:03 AM
Veinglory - this is what the OP asked:

Does "twice faster" sound strange?

No mention of 'two times'.

mirandashell
02-02-2012, 01:04 AM
WHICH 'many people'?


I'm sorry, I don't have my contact list on me...... :D

Is your name Jack Russell?

absitinvidia
02-02-2012, 01:05 AM
But Jim Morrison uses them both!

/random comment

mirandashell
02-02-2012, 01:06 AM
But Jim Morrison uses them both!

/random comment


Hi ho hi ho it's off to work we go.

/another random comment

veinglory
02-02-2012, 01:13 AM
Veinglory - this is what the OP asked:
No mention of 'two times'.

Speed is not a discreet unit and thus cannot be done twice, only doubled (multiplied by two). Thus the meaning is: a speed that is, with reference to prior speed, doubled (multipled by two). a.k.a. twice as fast a.k.a. two times as fast.

mirandashell
02-02-2012, 01:15 AM
Ok, I think you're kind of missing the point. Or I am. My debate is not with the OP. Other people answered that question.

I only got involved in the debate about whether 'two times' sounds childish.

veinglory
02-02-2012, 01:17 AM
Ok, I think you're kind of missing the point. Or I am. My debate is not with the OP. Other people answered that question.

I only got involved in the debate about whether 'two times' sounds childish.

i.e. that those of use who offered that alternative were wrong. With which we disagreed.

Then you gave an example suggesting you meant a use of the phrase other than the one OP intended. Possibly explaining the disagreement.

mirandashell
02-02-2012, 01:18 AM
Sorry, Veinglory, you've lost me.

And besides, none of this is important enough to get anyone's knickers twisted.

veinglory
02-02-2012, 01:21 AM
Not twisted, just clarifying why I thought "two times" was a grammatically correct and otherwise respectable substitution.

mirandashell
02-02-2012, 01:22 AM
I never actually said it was wrong. It isn't. But it does sound childish.

boron
02-02-2012, 01:23 AM
Alcohol is eliminated twice as fast as...This works for may health article, in which the emphasis is not on formulas.

I agree that two times as fast is more appropriate in strict math writing.

Does two times faster sound the same as twice faster?

mirandashell
02-02-2012, 01:24 AM
I don't think 'twice faster' is grammatically correct, is it?

boron
02-02-2012, 01:34 AM
I mean, does two times faster sound as wrong as twice faster? By logic, it should.

veinglory
02-02-2012, 01:37 AM
I never actually said it was wrong. It isn't. But it does sound childish.

Subjective impressions are subjective. Also sometimes idiosyncratic.

mirandashell
02-02-2012, 01:37 AM
To me it does, yes. It's just as ungrammatical.

mirandashell
02-02-2012, 01:37 AM
Subjective impressions are subjective.


Yes, I know. I already said that.

veinglory
02-02-2012, 01:38 AM
I mean, does two times faster sounds as wrong as twice faster? By logic, it should.

By what logic? Twice faster is ungrammatical. That is the problem. Replace it with whatever option you want, but you have to replace it if you are trying to write good English.

CaroGirl
02-02-2012, 01:43 AM
Quite frankly, I don't care if you think it sounds childish, because as far as I can tell you just pulled that opinion out of nowhere.
This is an antagonistic response that's not at all constructive. If you want to continue to be a member here, I'd suggest you work on your tone.

I can think of many reasons why it might be better to use two words than one, e.g. rhythm/flow/cadence/alliteration, etc.
I'd love to see an example.

Oh for...

"Burdon of proof". Google it.
Again, an antagonistic response that won't be making you a lot of friends here.

I know that "twice" gets 180 million hits on Google, and "two times" gets only 10 million, so it's definitely the more common.

I have discovered where our difference likely lies, which you would have also if you'd been interested in researching instead of simply reacting negatively. Twice is more common in British English and two times is more common in the US.

I gather you're American. I am not.

mirandashell
02-02-2012, 01:45 AM
Tmesis has his/her location as UK.

Of course, that doesn't mean he/she is not American......

So it may be just a cultural thing.

CaroGirl
02-02-2012, 01:49 AM
Tmesis has his/her location as UK.

Of course, that doesn't mean he/she is not American......

So it may be just a cultural thing.

Oh, you're right. I didn't really look; I just assumed. Maybe it's simply idiomatic preference that comes down to individual culture and experience. My father told me never to use "two times," so I don't. :)

tmesis
02-02-2012, 02:06 AM
I have discovered where our difference likely lies, which you would have also if you'd been interested in researching instead of simply reacting negatively. Twice is more common in British English and two times is more common in the US.

I gather you're American. I am not.

I don't know where to begin with what's wrong with that. Okay, I do. Our difference has nothing to do with culture or nationality. It's completely irrelevant. The problem is this.

First, you said:


And never write "two times."

When asked why, you replied:

Because, well, that's what the word twice is for. And it sounds childish.

You then went on to claim that to "many people" it sounds childish. I asked for evidence of this. You provided none.

If you had, then I would have provided evidence of "two times" being used in all sorts of non childish contexts, including examples on bbc.co.uk, cnn, reuters, The Times, the Guardian, etc., etc. Any site you named. But you didn't ask, because it didn't occur to you that your opinion might have no basis, even though it now transpires that the true reason for your opinion is this:

My father told me never to use "two times," so I don't. :)

I don't apologise for my antagonism. I find your writing style insufferable. Also, your opinion is wrong.

mirandashell
02-02-2012, 02:12 AM
Actually, half of what you've accused Carogirl of writing was written by me.

It's a good idea to actually understand what you're reading before you jump up and down in a tantrum.

Anyway, you say two times, I say twice, potato, potarto, let's call the whole thing off.

CaroGirl
02-02-2012, 02:13 AM
I don't apologise for my antagonism. I find your writing style insufferable. Also, your opinion is wrong.

Aren't you lovely?

I concur that there's nothing ungrammatical about "two times." I never said it was wrong. I said not to use it except in a mathematical context because using twice sounds less childish to my ear. That was corroborated by another board member, which might give the opinion credence. Or might not.

Captcha
02-02-2012, 02:16 AM
I'd love to see an example.



"Bamboo grows seven times as fast as regular lawn grass; fescue grows four times as fast; zinnias only grow two times as fast."

To me, the parallelism makes the "two times" make sense. It's a stylistic choice, and I don't think the word "never" has much of a place in questions of style.

mirandashell
02-02-2012, 02:18 AM
So what's wrong with "Bamboo grows seven times as fast as regular lawn grass; fescue grows four times as fast; zinnias only grow twice as fast."

Captcha
02-02-2012, 02:18 AM
Aren't you lovely?

I concur that there's nothing ungrammatical about "two times." I never said it was wrong. I said not to use it except in a mathematical context because using twice sounds less childish to my ear.

If you'd actually said "to my ear" I don't think you'd be having this argument. You just said the childish part, flat out.

Captcha
02-02-2012, 02:20 AM
So what's wrong with "Bamboo grows seven times as fast as regular lawn grass; fescue grows four times as fast; zinnias only grow twice as fast."

It's not wrong. It's grammatically correct, and doesn't jar me when I read it. I have no problem with it. But I have no problem with the other version, either.

CaroGirl
02-02-2012, 02:20 AM
"Bamboo grows seven times as fast as regular lawn grass; fescue grows four times as fast; zinnias only grow two times as fast."

To me, the parallelism makes the "two times" make sense. It's a stylistic choice, and I don't think the word "never" has much of a place in questions of style.

Good example. Thanks!

Maintaining parallel structure is always important. Plus the scientific nature of the reference makes it work nicely.

I'll try to use "never" only when discussing important things like irregardless and alot. ;)

CaroGirl
02-02-2012, 02:21 AM
If you'd actually said "to my ear" I don't think you'd be having this argument. You just said the childish part, flat out.

True. I said "to my ear" in later posts. I didn't realize the reaction would be so, um, strong.

tmesis
02-02-2012, 02:21 AM
Actually, half of what you've accused Carogirl of writing was written by me.

?

I quoted CaroGirl. If that's not evidence that she said it too, I don't know what is.

I said not to use it except in a mathematical context because using twice sounds less childish to my ear.

Ahem:

I have a question for you. Why would you want to use two times when [...]using the term sounds childish to many readers?


[Bold emphasis mine.]

Anyhoo, I'm done now.

mirandashell
02-02-2012, 02:22 AM
Oh good. I think you could do with a lie down......

CaroGirl
02-02-2012, 02:23 AM
Anyhoo, I'm done now.

:hooray:

Tomorrow, let's talk about thrice!

tmesis
02-02-2012, 02:26 AM
Oh good. I think you could do with a lie down......

:hooray:



But I didn't say I wouldn't be back...

;)

mirandashell
02-02-2012, 02:35 AM
:Wha:

Fallen
02-02-2012, 02:46 AM
:e2bouncey

oh... sorry, :e2bummed: bad timing... :gone:

:brit (we got one for us brits!!!!!!!)

Chase
02-02-2012, 04:13 AM
At least Mirandashell's England and Tmesis's UK are in different parts of the globe . . . No, wait, they're not! I hope you and the little ones are safe, Fallen.

But I'm thrice ticked at CaroGirl for drawing flames to Canada (which I think is on the same American continent where I live).

Anyway, too darned close for nuclear warfare! I look north from the US and see the night sky on fire.


Edit: Snarkiness aside, I thought the nuances of expression discussed were cool. So are the latest flarings of Aurora Borealis.

absitinvidia
02-02-2012, 05:57 AM
Alcohol is eliminated twice as fast as...This works for may health article, in which the emphasis is not on formulas.

I agree that two times as fast is more appropriate in strict math writing.

Does two times faster sound the same as twice faster?

I will say it again: twice faster is wrong.

Twice as fast is what you would say in almost every circumstance.

Fallen
02-02-2012, 12:11 PM
I hope you and the little ones are safe, Fallen.



I love the people here for their passion and opinion. And I know that they don't hurt kids (I'm hiding behind my little'n' on the left there, though, just in case). :D

I agree with abs that 'twice faster' isn't a choice. Medical discourse is complicated enough. When using unfamiliar medical terminology, seeing constructions you are familiar with (eg twice as fast) helps the flow and understanding.

Difficult for a ESL learner to try and balance, which I think boron is ESL (which is also why it's good to have debates on why a particular word might not work for one, when it does for another).

QuantumIguana
02-02-2012, 06:40 PM
About the only time I could imagine 'twice faster' being appropriate would be in poetic usage. "Twice faster went the..." But I'm no poet.

AnWulf
02-02-2012, 07:16 PM
This.

And never write "two times." That's what the word "twice" is for. (Unless you're in math class.)

I'll have to chime in with tmesis ... nothing wrong with "two times" and I eathly found it in academic papers which negates the "it sounds childish" opinion:

When the measure was only administered two times per year, Phillai's trace was used to test for significant difference. An alpha level of.05 was set for all analyses. ... School Psychology Review, 010, Vol. 39 Issue 2, p240-257, 18p

For flexibility exercise performance 22.3% of the waiver group reported the performance of flexibility activities a minimum of 20 minutes two times per week in comparison to 24% for the non-waiver group. ... Physical Educator, Spring2010, Vol. 67 Issue 2, p90-100, 11p

And elsewhere:

A 2008 University of North Carolina study found that people with scalp or neck melanomas die at nearly two times the rate of those with it on their arms or legs. ... Cosmopolitan, June, 2010, Vol. 248, Iss. 6; pg. 183

AnWulf
02-02-2012, 07:29 PM
Twice faster seems to hav a long history.

The poetical works of Thomas Hood, Volume 2 (1856):
Who straight makes answer with redoubled roar, And sheds salt tears twice faster than before

Implementation and Application of Functional Languages: 16th International Workshop (2005):
In Fig. 13a, the interconnection network is twice faster than network in Fig. 13b ... while the network in Fig. 13b is twice faster than the one in Fig. 13c.

mirandashell
02-03-2012, 04:36 PM
Your 'two times' examples are American, aren't they? It does seem to be more common there.

But I'm afraid that over here, it is regarded as childish. It's a cultural thing.

And as such, nothing to get upset about, really.

boron
02-03-2012, 04:45 PM
Google search

site:co.uk "two times as fast" (http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&lr=lang_en&newwindow=1&prmdo=1&tbs=lr%3Alang_1en&q=site%3Aco.uk+%22two+times+as+fast%22&oq=site%3Aco.uk+%22two+times+as+fast%22&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=6601488l6601488l0l6602531l1l1l0l0l0l0l134l1 34l0.1l1l0)
86 results

site:co.uk "twice as fast" (http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&lr=lang_en&newwindow=1&prmdo=1&pws=0&biw=1600&bih=775&tbs=lr%3Alang_1en&q=site%3Aco.uk+%22twice+as+fast%22&oq=site%3Aco.uk+%22twice+as+fast%22&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_sm=s&gs_upl=17963l20870l0l23848l10l10l0l0l0l0l136l910l6 .4l10l0)
7,390,000 results

site:us "two times as fast" (http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&lr=lang_en&newwindow=1&prmdo=1&tbs=lr%3Alang_1en&q=site%3Aus+%22two+times+as+fast%22&oq=site%3Aus+%22two+times+as+fast%22&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=5280l5280l0l6246l1l1l0l0l0l0l69l69l1l1l0)
45 results

site:us "twice as fast" (http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&lr=lang_en&newwindow=1&prmdo=1&pws=0&biw=1600&bih=775&tbs=lr%3Alang_1en&q=site%3Aus+%22twice+as+fast%22&oq=site%3Aus+%22twice+as+fast%22&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=71258l73351l0l74904l7l7l0l0l0l0l100l590l6.1 l7l0)
2,280,000 results

"two times as fast" (http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&lr=lang_en&newwindow=1&prmdo=1&pws=0&biw=1600&bih=775&tbs=lr%3Alang_1en&q=%22two+times+as+fast%22&oq=%22two+times+as+fast%22&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=74676l78501l0l79376l10l10l0l0l0l0l117l915l7 .3l10l0)
1,270,000 results

"twice as fast" (http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&lr=lang_en&newwindow=1&prmdo=1&pws=0&biw=1600&bih=775&tbs=lr%3Alang_1en&q=%22twice+as+fast%22&oq=%22twice+as+fast%22&aq=f&aqi=g1g-c4g-m1&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=125534l125988l0l127825l8l4l0l0l0l2l159l443l 2.2l4l0)
79,100,000 results

AnWulf
02-03-2012, 08:28 PM
Your 'two times' examples are American, aren't they? It does seem to be more common there.

But I'm afraid that over here, it is regarded as childish. It's a cultural thing.

And as such, nothing to get upset about, really.

Too easy ... This is from a rather limited British Nat'l Corpus (It only covers 1980-1994), but it is one that I can quickly tap:

Cefotiame 2 g intravenously two times daily was used for antibiotic treatment of the cholecystitis. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

So long as they don't do it at those two times a day. Halam Parish Council meeting (Pub/instit). Rec. on 11 Feb 1994

He walked up the moss-infested path, mounted the steps and pressed the bell-push two times, Shockwave. Forbes, Colin. London: Pan Books Ltd, 1990

He's old and he's come in here two times Circle of friends. Binchy, Maeve. London: Coronet Books, 1991

It requires no special lifestyle, just fifteen minutes quiet meditation using a "mantra" two times each day. Anxiety and stress management. Enright, Simon and Powell, Trevor. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul plc, 1990

mirandashell
02-03-2012, 11:26 PM
AnWulf, why are you doing this? Out of the millions of words written in English every day, you're picking a few pieces out to prove what exactly?

Some people use 'two times'. Well whoopi do....

Jeez... is your name also Jack Russell?

BethS
02-03-2012, 11:37 PM
Ben is twice faster than Jen.
Chronic alcoholics may eliminate alcohol twice faster than moderate drinkers.

If I ran across those, I would assume the writer was confused about the proper expression, which is "twice as fast."

Captcha
02-03-2012, 11:39 PM
AnWulf, why are you doing this? Out of the millions of words written in English every day, you're picking a few pieces out to prove what exactly?

Some people use 'two times'. Well whoopi do....

Jeez... is your name also Jack Russell?

Why do you keep arguing with them? You and CaroGirl made an over-generalization in your first statements. CaroGirl seems to have walked away from the discussion, but you're still here. You've abandoned your original blanket "it's childish" statement, which is nice to see, but you're still clinging to the argument by saying that it's a regionalism. So now the other side is saying that, no, it's not all that accurate regionally, either.

If it's not worth twisted knickers, untwist yours and walk away. But if you stay, I don't think it's appropriate to call other people stubborn for also staying. At least they're presenting evidence to back up their arguments, instead of just re-stating the same thing within smaller boundaries. I think if you shrink all the way down to "it sounds childish to me," you'll have something they can't rebut. But otherwise, I don't understand why you think they should walk away when you don't seem willing to.

mirandashell
02-03-2012, 11:42 PM
I'm losing the will to live.........