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 "no end" vs "to no end"

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Shisaiga
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PostSubject: "no end" vs "to no end"    Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:22 pm

I've been trying to figure this out with the help of google and various dictionaries, but it's slowly driving me crazy, so I thought I'd better try asking someone.

I've just finished a story for a fanfiction exchange, and my beta is having issues with this sentence.

Quote :
While Senga's own nipples weren't particularly sensitive, Nikaido's were all the more so, fascinating Senga no end.

Specifically, they want to change it to

Quote :
While Senga's own nipples weren't particularly sensitive, Nikaido's were all the more so, fascinating Senga to no end.

Now, I've explained that "no end" is an idiom (which they had never heard of, despite being a native speaker), and that I think writing "to no end" would change the meaning. They say not.

But they are a native speaker, and if they say it sounds weird to them, well, I should listen, right? That's why I ask them, after all. But I've had several discussions with more than one beta before, because they simply didn't know a word or phrase, where it turned out my version was correct after all. (After google research/asking native speakers who are studying to be editors and so on. But this time, google isn't all that helpful, and none of the native speakers whose opinion I trust are online right now.)

It might just be that this idiom is less common than I thought.

Anyway, I'm kind of confused now and this close to just changing the sentence completely and avoid the whole thing. Can anyone shed light on this?
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Dixie
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PostSubject: Re: "no end" vs "to no end"    Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:02 pm

"no end" means "immensely". "to no end" means "without purpose or result". I'm thinking you mean the first one? If your beta is a native English speaker, and doesn't know the difference between these two phrases, I would consider changing your beta rather than the sentence.
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Penguin
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PostSubject: Re: "no end" vs "to no end"    Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:07 pm

No, you need to put "to" in for either meaning.
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WD40
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PostSubject: Re: "no end" vs "to no end"    Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:12 pm

Yeah... I agree with Prinny. The 'no end' variant is a repercussion of the glottal stop.

Quote :
fascinating Senga to no end.

Quote :
fascinating Senga t'no end.

Quote :
fascinating Senga no end.

Grammatically, the 'to' needs to be there.

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grmblfjx
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PostSubject: Re: "no end" vs "to no end"    Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:23 am

Words of wisdom from an actual English tutor:

Quote :
well there 'no end' is just incorrect.
There needs to be a conjunction
but
They're not interchangeable
hold on
let me think about this
hmmmm

It frustrated her to no end.

There was no end to her frustration with it.

Mean the same thing.
no end and to no end mean the same thing but need to be used in different grammatical contexts.
And in my experience they both mean that there literally is no end to whatever is being discussed.

Excuse the formatting, that was in chat. Conclusion: "no end" and "to no end" mean the same thing, the difference is in where in the sentence you use it.


Of course, my personal issue is that there are too many names in that poor little sentence. My rule of thumb is, no more than two names per sentence if you can avoid it at all, and each name no more than once.
Also, each name no more than twice per paragraph, too. I see that in otherwise pretty good writing and cringe- it's not that hard to work around it.
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rae
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PostSubject: Re: "no end" vs "to no end"    Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:03 pm

Your beta is correct. If I saw the first sentence, I would assume that someone was typing one-handed and forgot to add in a 'to.' XD

If you do not want the 'to' in there, you would need to change the sentence to something like
Quote :
Senga's nipples were not particularly sensitive, so there was no end to his fascination with Nikaido's much more sensitive nipples.
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your mom
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PostSubject: Re: "no end" vs "to no end"    Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:12 am

Native speaker here. I would also assume the author had just missed adding the 'to'.

I'm not an expert or any kind of authority, but I'm fairly sure you would always use 'to no end' in a sentence like you've got. I've never seen 'no end' used in this context; I would always use 'to no end' here.

I would use 'no end' in a sentence like "It was a long battle with no end in sight", or "You'll have no end of trouble if you don't heed my advice", both talking about an actual ending of something.

I also agree that rae's re-wording of the sentence above is correct, although with 'sensitive' in there twice it does end up sounding a little redundant. Your original sentence seems fine to me if you change 'no end' to 'to no end', and if I read it with 'to no end' I would take the meaning from context to be that they fascinated Senga greatly, not that the nipples were unsuccessful in their fascination of Senga.

- He tried to convince her, but to no end.
- She frustrated him to no end.


Both uses of 'to no end' have different meanings, but the meaning is clear from context.
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Shisaiga
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PostSubject: Re: "no end" vs "to no end"    Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:18 pm

scratch I could swear I responded last year. Weird.

Anyway, thanks for the input! I've changed it to "endlessly" now.
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