The tag has no wiki summary.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

64
votes
13answers
50k 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 ...
34
votes
6answers
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 ...
22
votes
9answers
2k views

Has “aught” survived in common usage?

In a movie that I watched recently, I heard- for aught I know, for aught I care. I work with a lot of native speakers, and they all told me it's not in formal or informal usage anymore. ...
12
votes
7answers
5k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
442 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
275 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. ...
3
votes
2answers
229 views

Sorry I didn't turn up, I clean forgot. What's the sense of "clean' and its usage hygiene? [closed]

Sorry I didn't turn up -I clean forgot. The explosion blew the cooker clean through the wall. What kind of usage is this- AmE or BrE ? The meaning of clean usually refers to removing ...
3
votes
3answers
2k 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, ...
2
votes
7answers
809 views

Is calling someone “old school”- offensive/derogatory? [closed]

My colleague, a relatively young school teacher, prefers not to use e-mails. He is digitally absent. During a recent teacher's meeting, while I appreciated his efforts towards content ...
2
votes
2answers
153 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
109 views

The phrase - “I remain sceptical” vs “I continue to remain sceptical”

During a parent meeting , I heard a teacher say : I remain sceptical (on the progress of the child). and the parent questioning him- Why do you continue to remain sceptical? ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Can I be “friendfully yours” [closed]

friendly (advs). : Used to mean 'in a friendly manner. I am wondering if "friendfully" was/is in standard usage and would I sound primitive or ungrammatical if I dare write "friendfully yours" ...
2
votes
1answer
27 views

Felicitated- pragmatics and connotations

This sentence from a major Indian daily amused me: The mother of a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) constable, who died in the line of duty in Jammu and Kashmir, was felicitated at the 65th ...
1
vote
3answers
6k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Arguably- does the adverb carries “what I am saying is unarguable” connotation [duplicate]

Arguably- “I’m a little confused about the usage of this word. "Roger Federer is arguably the best tennis player ever. This is what I heard in a conversation. My point is does the statement ...
0
votes
2answers
92 views

Is there a difference between a spigot and a faucet (usage in AmE) [duplicate]

What is a domestic tap called commonly in the US ? -a spigot? a device that controls the flow of liquid from a large container (MW) Dictionary meaning aside, I had this understanding that a ...
0
votes
2answers
35 views

what is a word or a phrase to convey -" no more?

What is a word or a phrase to say when we had too much of something weird. Example- An enthusiastic friend takes me to a play and its puzzling and rather unimpressive to me and I want to yell- ...
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) ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

I can surely do it for you [duplicate]

I can surely do it for you.. Is the use of surely correct or shall I replace it with certainly without change in meaning.