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Is it correct to say "Sam offered to minute take" regarding meetings, it sounds wrong & clumsy to me? If incorrect, what would the correct form be?

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    it would work if it was hyphenated, "Sam offered to minute-take" That would remove the confusion. .."to take the minutes" would perhaps be more comfortable, but hyphenated wouldn't bother me greatly. – Tetsujin Nov 30 '14 at 12:37
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    What @Tetsujin said. I also don't have any real problem with minute take as a sort of "limited-scope phrasal verb" - which is to say it's okay as an infinitive, but I wouldn't be so keen on conjugated forms such as "She minute took the meeting", or "The meeting was minute taken by Sam". The hyphen makes the usage more obvious (and thus more acceptable) in the written form - but that's not really important, since you can't hear it in the spoken form (i.e. - in "real" language). – FumbleFingers Nov 30 '14 at 13:03
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    I've heard of "offered to take the minutes (of a meeting)", but not "offered to minute-take". I'm AmE, so I'm wondering whether "minute-take" is mostly a BrE thing? – F.E. Nov 30 '14 at 15:39
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    Temperature-take the room? Temperature-take the patient? – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 30 '14 at 18:46
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    It strikes me as non-standard (US English), and I couldn't immediately figure out what was meant. I'm used to offered to take minutes. – Jim Reynolds Dec 1 '14 at 10:21
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Poppy, if you are going to standard English, the correct phrase is, "Sam offered to take the minutes." Of all the meetings in which I've participated (I lead and also take minutes depending on the group), I've never heard minutes used in the singular. Not that it is technically incorrect, but were I to hear someone say that, I would suspect that English was not their first language. Minutes are always (except perhaps in academia, where rules trump existence) referred to in the plural.

"I took the meeting minutes."

"Can you send the minutes of the meeting."

"Who's taking the minutes?"

  • Good answer. I also commonly see this as "Sam offered to take minutes." without an article at all, but, as you said, minutes is always plural. Googling around, it looks like the etymology of the phrase has more to do with the details (minutiae) of the meeting than the time elapsed, so the plural would be appropriate. – Jason Patterson Dec 1 '14 at 20:31
  • Jason, I agree the article is optional. I've heard, "Can you take minutes," almost as much as, "Can you take the minutes." Though, I want to say I've heard and used it with an article more than not. – iolympian Dec 1 '14 at 22:02

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