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0answers
54 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
95 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"?
59
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7answers
8k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
110 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, ...
0
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0answers
32 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
313 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
455 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
284 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
186 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
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1answer
76 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
1k 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
164 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
799 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
285 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
481 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
780 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
213 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 ...