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4
votes
1answer
189 views

Is the use of the dative of possession (from Latin) in English phrases proper?

I am an avid Latin III student studying in high school, and I often think about the effect that Latin has had on English, not just through etymology and morphology, but in semantics and pragmatics. ...
2
votes
2answers
110 views

Is “that few” a correct expression?

We quite often hear the utterance "that many" as in I haven't had that many sweets! But is the opposite standard speech as well? Can one say: I don't have that few followers on Twitter! If ...
60
votes
13answers
27k views

What is it called when someone says something like: “I'm not a racist, but…”

Other examples are: I'm not sexist but (sexist comment) Not to be a dick, but (dick comment) No offense, but (offensive comment) And so on... where they are trying to excuse ...
4
votes
2answers
866 views

“noun of noun” vs. “noun+noun”?

I wonder if there is a significant difference at the semantic or pragmatic levels in using the compounds structures noun of noun or noun+noun. For example, is it the same to say "the consumption of ...
1
vote
3answers
5k views

“You got it” vs. “I got it”

When I watch TV drams or movies, I sometimes come across the expressions “I got it” and “You got it” meaning “I will do as you ask”. I am wondering if there is any semantic or pragmatic differences ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Are you being served/helped?

Being an L2 English speaker, quite often I get into funny - and sometimes embarrassing - situations. It usually happens when I say something pragmatically inappropriate for a situation. For example, ...
4
votes
2answers
375 views

Conversational Postulate

In two fields that I've worked I've heard the term "Conversational Postulate" used to refer to a yes/no question that is expected to elicit some behaviour in the listener. Questions such as "Can you ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

“No need to hurry yet…”

This question is from a diagnostic test of one ESL school in Bangkok. Ann wonders how much time she has to work on her assigned project. Her teacher says, “No need to hurry yet ________” a) ...
34
votes
7answers
2k views

Does apologizing entail recognizing being at fault?

Consider this example: I'm sorry if you got the impression that I meant to insult you. That was not my intention. Would it be correct to say that the above person apologized? All the ...
12
votes
7answers
4k views

How do you decide which phrase to use when asking people to repeat what they said?

There are many different ways to ask people to repeat what they have just said. For example: Huh? What? Sorry? Pardon? What's that? Say that again, please I beg your pardon? I've ordered them ...