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9
votes
2answers
187 views

Should LOL be LA? “Aloud” and “Out loud”, a history

Is out loud a corruption of aloud or did it develop independently? (This question is not actually about LOL; it is simply about aloud and outloud.) Out loud is a much newer formation than aloud and ...
3
votes
2answers
139 views

Why has “Caucasian” remained in use, while similar terms for other races have fallen out of use?

Why has the term "Caucasian" remained in use, while equivalent terms, such as those used for Asian people, African people, and Australian Aborigines have fallen out of use in polite society? I came ...
0
votes
2answers
52 views

What is the denotation of the word 'population'?

I've seen the word population most commonly used in the context of the magnitude of a community or group e.g. "The population of the United States is 320 million". I have also seen it used to simply ...
-2
votes
2answers
81 views

use of change and exchange [closed]

I had a discussion with my girlfriend about the use of change and exchange and would like to have the opinion from an native speaker. Here is the sentence of discussion: I want to exchange this old ...
1
vote
3answers
128 views

'Neerdowell' has passed out of the vernacular. What has replaced it?

'Neerdowell' is a word I last heard used by my Grandfather easily 30 years ago. At the time, he was approaching 100 years of age and, along with his equally aged wife, was a veritable gold mine of ...
4
votes
2answers
756 views

What is happening to “Thank you”?

What is happening to the phrase "Thank you"? Related questions: Is thank you considered formal nowadays? Is thanks used more often? Is there a decline in the usage of the phrase thank you ...
1
vote
3answers
454 views

Can a sport team “clinch” a championship in the last regular season game?

This question gets into the subtle shades of meaning of the word clinch, in the context of sporting teams securing spots in the playoffs. My past experience hearing this term on television, or ...
3
votes
2answers
110 views

When did content become a noun?

What is the earliest use of the word "content" as a noun in the sense of "content producer" or "creative content"?
65
votes
7answers
17k views

What happened to “You're welcome?”

Quite often (9 out of 10 times?), on radio (NPR), when the interviewer says "Thank you" to the interviewee, the reply is also "Thank you." What has happened to "You're welcome?" Why is "You're ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

When did “lesbian” become well-known as a noun, not an adjective?

A friend asked me earlier why it was that "gay" is an adjective, but "lesbian" is a noun. I've been doing some searching online, because it's an interesting question. According to etymonline, "lesbian"...
2
votes
0answers
151 views

Reference material for change in English usage over time

How words have changed in meaning and usage over time is frequently a hot topic both on here and the wider community, and I find it fascinating. Are there any good reference works which document this ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Words that changed meaning in past hundred years [closed]

I am looking for a list of words that were used to mean something different from for what they are used now. some words are such that whose meaning has changed completely and some words have more ...
12
votes
3answers
797 views

Do onomatopoeic words lose their onomatopoeic character?

Wikipedia mentions that: Some languages flexibly integrate onomatopoeic words into their structure. This may evolve into a new word, up to the point that it is no longer recognized as onomatopoeia....
5
votes
2answers
666 views

Is “because-noun” a new preposition?

There are a handful of articles suggesting that a new preposition has appeared in the form of "because-noun": The Atlantic Stan Carey Grammar Girl Isn't "Because (of)... whatever" a causitive? ...
1
vote
1answer
304 views

Why did the past tense ending -t change to -ed?

My posts are often questions for further knowledge about reasons for language change. In this extract from 1750, there are three variations on the past tense form. Once again, I am grateful if anyone ...
-1
votes
1answer
112 views

In a theatrical reenactment of a real event, how can the 4th wall be broken?

When a theatre performance is the re-enactment of an event that has happened in real life, can I say that the fourth wall is being broken by the realness of the experience rather than by the actors or ...
-5
votes
6answers
2k views

Have there been any movements/tendencies to remove definite and indefinite articles from English in the recent history of English?

My question is if there were some "movements" that propose to remove definite and indefinite articles completely in the last 100 or 200 years (or even more older). E.g. "a book" will be just "book" ...
2
votes
1answer
232 views

What is the word for fear of growth?

Is there a word or term for people who have a fear of growth?
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Can there ever be such a thing as “proper grammar” knowing that languages change over time? [duplicate]

Who decides what is "proper grammar"? Who decides when to make changes when the grammar of the people change, and why is it important to follow "proper grammar" if languages change so often? Edit: to ...
7
votes
3answers
514 views

“Space” as a synonym for industry, sector or business segment

When, and from where, did "space", as a synonym for industry, sector, or business segment, enter the language? For example, one wouldn't expect to read "His family made a fortune in the buggy whip ...
6
votes
3answers
763 views

Why does “-Cy” become “-Sy”?

What rule of grammar, or etymological history, makes "prophe-cy" (noun) become "prophe-sy" (verb)? What causes the C to become an S when the word usage changes?
2
votes
6answers
1k views

Is 'low speed' finally proving its merit?

Technically, you should expect the term low speed, not slow speed (which is obviously illogical). However, it seems the two phrases co-existed as long as one can look back: with low speed fighting ...
8
votes
3answers
233 views

The rise of “all of the”

In the following graph, the long s accounts for the sudden rise in frequency of most of the; if you search for moft of the, the lines match up nicely. But what would be behind the sudden increase in ...
14
votes
4answers
786 views

Are English language books translated to contemporary English? [closed]

Were Shakespeare books translated to contemporary English? Which version is more common? Is there a rule to choose which books will have its language updated? Are poems updated too? From which year I ...