Have a running/runny nose?

Max   Thu Jun 28, 2007 3:44 pm GMT
Is it correct to say "I'm having a running nose"?

I guess "running nose" and "runny nose" are both valid English phrases. Am I right?
Jim   Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:02 pm GMT
Both valid, the latter more usual, the sentence would be better in the simple present rather than present continuous.
Dawie   Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:35 pm GMT
I'm sorry Jim, I disagree. "Runny nose" is the correct usage. A "running nose" sounds silly and you will likely be laughed at if you use this phrase with native English speakers.
JP   Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:40 pm GMT
You are right. Both of these are valid phrases.

I would usually say, "My nose is running" or "I have a runny nose."
Jim   Thu Jun 28, 2007 5:58 pm GMT
I wouldn't recommend "running" over "runny" (at least not usually), however, I wouldn't go so far as to call it incorrect or invalid.
Skippy   Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:36 pm GMT
"I have a runny nose." That's the only way it sounds good to me.
SpaceFlight   Thu Jun 28, 2007 8:23 pm GMT
I've never heard anyone ever say they have a "running nose"
furrykef   Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:46 pm GMT
I agree with JP: "My nose is running", but "I have a runny nose".
Kess   Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:41 am GMT
the correct form is: Rhinitis
Max   Fri Jun 29, 2007 1:24 pm GMT
Thanks a lot, guys.

So it is preferable to say "I have a runny nose" and "My nose is running." Whether or not "a running nose" is a valid phrase is disputed. Maybe this has something to do with different varieties of English?
JP   Fri Jun 29, 2007 4:56 pm GMT
I will try to clarify.

It is not usual to say that anyone "has a running nose."

However, a person who used this phrase would most likely be understood, even though this is not the established idiom and a native speaker would find it rather strange.
Mr. Richter   Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:56 pm GMT
Is this valid: "my nose ran away." Just kidding (chuckles!)
Karen   Fri Jun 29, 2007 9:19 pm GMT
I have a runny nose. Or My nose is running. The runny in "runny nose" is used as the adjective to describe the nose. Running is a verb, so you would not use it to describe your nose, you would use it to explain what your nose is doing.
furrykef   Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:42 pm GMT
<< Running is a verb, so you would not use it to describe your nose, you would use it to explain what your nose is doing. >>

But you can use a verb participle as an adjective. You can say "a burning desire", for example: desire that burns. "Running nose" fits the pattern: a nose that runs. There isn't any logical reason that one doesn't say "running nose". But, still, one normally doesn't say it. It's just one of those things...

- Kef
Adam   Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:25 pm GMT
English is a weird language.

In English a nose RUNS but feet SMELL.

Surely it should be the other way around.