4
votes
0answers
63 views

What's the current scholarly opinion on the “minims” explanation for the spelling of “love”, “tongue,” etc?

According to the Online Etymology dictionary (as cited in this question How was the letter -u- written in Old English?): The substitution of Middle English -o- for Old English -u- before -m-, -n-...
3
votes
0answers
42 views

Usage of 'last June' in newspaper archive

I found a UK newspaper article from October 1918, which made reference to 'last June'. What's the likelihood of that meaning June 1917, as opposed to June 1918? I assume if it was 1917, they would ...
3
votes
0answers
40 views

Ipa vowels relationships

Lately I'm into improving my english (UK) pronunciation. I'm using the IPA chart for such purpose. I was wondering if there's any relationship between the ə sound and the several diphthongs that ...
3
votes
0answers
55 views

“Enormity”: Bigness or evil?

A few years ago, I learned that the word "enormity" meant "wickedness" and not (ever!) "bigness"--this according to the official curriculum for a major American standardized test. Upon learning this, ...
3
votes
0answers
89 views

Midnight Cowboy quote that I can't understand

In Midnight Cowboy, Dustin Hoffman's character (Rico) says: "You can't scratch yourself without getting a bellybutton up the old kazoo there." This was when he was talking about going to ...
2
votes
0answers
29 views

Why is this comma wrong?

"Another pattern, that regularly appears, is a Not Found response that queries the database...". I think this is incorrect but I'm not sure. I think the correct version would be "Another pattern that ...
2
votes
0answers
22 views

Like me or such as me

“Some people, like me, don’t look disabled, but the disabilities are real,” Hardiman stated. “As more of us age, disabilities will increase and many people will rely on service dogs.” “Some people, ...
2
votes
0answers
60 views

What is the role/function and origin of “to” being used in the idiomatic phrases “there's something to him/her/it” & “there's nothing to him/her/it”?

"something to him/her/it" Google Books (to him): Google Books (to her): Google Books (to it): The phrase meaning "there's something (with respect to/about) him/her/it (that is observable/...
2
votes
0answers
42 views

How do we get pronunciation Yoost to?

In this thread How does the phrase "used to" work, grammatically? the construct "used to" is discussed but there is no mention of its pronunciation. Here (Canada) the "used" in this phrase ...
2
votes
0answers
48 views

What is the difference between sqq and ff?

What's the difference between sqq. and ff.? The Apocryphal Acts of Paul, Peter, John, Andrew and Thomas by Bernhard Pick has, for example, these 4 references in a row: Hennecke, N ...
2
votes
0answers
52 views

What's the difference between“ the topics discussed” and “the discussed topics”?

As a non-native speaker, I think those two above mentioned has no difference. If any, would any of you tell me the subtle difference? As far as I am concerned, past participles should be put before ...
2
votes
0answers
26 views

“contribution {to|toward|towards} ‹gerund phrase›” in AmE in a non-monetary sense

I would like to understand which preposition to use with "contribution" when it is used in a non-monetary sense in American English in the case when the preposition is followed by a gerund phrase. My ...
2
votes
0answers
26 views

Meaning {Thing} “decided” to cave in

For example: "My laptop caved in" -> It means that my laptop got broken, right? And when: "My laptop decided to cave in" I wonder what does the "decided" mean or give expression to listeners. Of ...
2
votes
0answers
61 views

The use of “as” in “Wasting money as it does,…”

I came across the following sentence in a practice book: Wasting money as it does, I don't know how this business can succeed. When I looked it up in dictionaries, the closest use I found for as in ...
2
votes
0answers
50 views

can a comma make a difference?

In my mind, "I like him but not her" does not mean exactly the same as "I like him, but not her". The comma would insist on the opposition and put emphasis on "him" and "her". It puts weight on my ...
2
votes
0answers
36 views

Meaning in Thoreau's Walden: 'whether it cannot be improved as well as not.'

I'm having a hard time parsing this phrase from H.D. Thoreau's Walden, chapter I, Economy: I would fain say something, not so much concerning the Chinese and Sandwich Islanders as you who read ...
2
votes
0answers
53 views

What's this type of elision called?

There's a usage where the word introducing a restrictive clause is dropped. Some examples: Nothing but champagne, now that I'm the boss. becomes: Nothing but champagne, now I'm the boss. and: ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

Is it acceptable to have a period inside and outside of a quotation mark, if the inner period should be specifically specified in a quote?

For example, say I needed to specify that the following sentence should be written exactly as it appears: Use eye protection. Example: The statement previously appeared in the document as "Use eye ...
2
votes
0answers
58 views

The controversial use of semicolon ;

Argument - 1: (denying the use with conjunctions) If two or more clauses, grammatically complete and not joined by a conjunction, are to form a single compound sentence, the proper mark ...
2
votes
0answers
78 views

When writing an informal letter, is it advisable to use the em rule at all?

I must point out before explaining my situation that I'm an English learner. However, for this question I need the help of an expert; that's why I'm asking here and not in ELL. When writing an ...
2
votes
0answers
49 views

What does 'cover off' mean? 10067

10067 I have looked at 'cover off' threads but their answers don't fit my example. In James Titcombe's book about the Morecambe Bay baby scandal (where 30 babies died because of communication ...
2
votes
0answers
44 views

“You Guys” or “You, Guys”

O.K., simple rules of using a comma before and after the vocative case state tjhat you write, for example, What do you, Mark, think about the book? But what about “you guys” / “you, guys”? Or, for ...
2
votes
0answers
57 views

The origin of the verb “has” (the verb “have” for third-singular person)

From what I know, in Simple Present, all verbs are followed by -s/es if the subject is a third-singular person. Such as makes, matches, buys, and studies. I also know that if the verb is have, it ...
2
votes
0answers
49 views

What linguistic structures appear in conditional statements?

I am working on natural language processing and seek to determine if a given sentence is a conditional statement - ex: If I go to the store, then I will spend money. I would have gone to the store, if ...
2
votes
0answers
75 views

Word related to physical attraction of smoking?

A long while ago I happened upon a trivia website that mentioned there's a word related to the act of smoking being attractive -- either that smoking is becoming of a certain person, or that a certain ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

“Act in a certain way” or “act a certain way”

When I should put "in" after the verb "act"? I occasionally see some don't put "in" between "act" and "a certain way". Example: "But you must act in a certain way, so that you can appropriate what ...
2
votes
0answers
68 views

Reported Speech: preference for using that after say/tell

A student of mine has stated (based on her experience watching films and TV shows) that, when using Reported Speech, Americans will more often use 'he said that X' or 'he told us that X' whereas ...
2
votes
0answers
93 views

Can 'more' be used before a present participle?

I'm wondering if this usage is grammatically correct, because I remember it being used in such a way but can't find any instances using google. Here's an example of what I'm talking about: I was ...
2
votes
0answers
61 views

Stress pattern changes with noun and verb homographs: exceptions to the rule

We all know that words that can be used both as nouns and verbs have a different stress pattern: http://www.wordstress.info/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Stress-Pattern-Change-noun-verb-pairs.pdf As a ...
2
votes
0answers
54 views

How did 'however it may be' ⟹ 'but'?

[ OED: ] Etymology:  < HOW adv. + EVER adv. 8e. In senses 2, 3, however is the relic of an original subordinate clause (like those of sense 1), such as ‘however this may be’. ...
2
votes
0answers
90 views

Origins of “schoolboy error”

In the UK, at least, we use the term "a schoolboy error" to mean a simple or foolish mistake. Oxford has it as: British informal A very basic or foolish mistake. It is used very frequently ...
2
votes
0answers
36 views

Past Perfect and Until

In the book which I use to prepare for the IELTS exam they have the following sentence: " The situation remained unchanged for the next two years until more universities were opened." I do not ...
2
votes
0answers
62 views

Use of “trying to” in place of “wanting to” in the US

Is the use of "trying to" in place of "wanting to" occurring nationwide or regionally? What is its prevalence and when did it start? I'm in my late 20s and live in New England. In the past 2-3 ...
2
votes
0answers
112 views

Does “mouse” in the computer sense come from nautical slang?

Computer "mouse" is an English term known and used worldwide. Reference about its origin appears to suggest that the term, which obviously refers to the shape of a small mouse, may actually come ...
2
votes
0answers
110 views

Is there a solid reference/rule on when not to put article after 'of'

I have not found any articles or documentation on this, the only thing close to it is this Zero article after "of" in "a change of place" thread which only has a single answer ...
2
votes
0answers
58 views

Connotation of a sentence in a listening material from TPO

(Here for the original audio source (MP3 file). The part in question begins approximately at 2'18'') This conversation is an excerpt from one listening material in a TPO (TOEFL Practice Online) test, ...
2
votes
0answers
278 views

“Para” and “Paras” vs “Paragraph” and “Paragraphs”

I find people using "para" for "paragraph" and "paras" for "paragraphs", even in formal English. See the example sentence: In para 2 of the plaint, the plaintiff has stated that he is entitled ...
2
votes
0answers
126 views

In which vowel do the diphthongs [aʊ] and [aɪ] start?

Surfing the web, I found the following explanations on how to produce the diphthongs [aʊ] and [aɪ]: "/aʊ/ as in all the words of "How now brown cow!". The starting position is the vowel sound /æ/ as ...
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 ...
1
vote
0answers
15 views

Future tenses complication

I've been doubting the proper use of future tenses recently, so which one do you consider to be more correct? I am arriving there on September 25th. or I will be arriving on September 25th.
1
vote
0answers
21 views

Difference between 'sleep schedule' and 'sleeping schedule'

What is the difference between sleep schedule and sleeping schedule? Googling seems to imply that they are synonymous, but I am not 100% sure. Addendum: As pointed out in the comments by @Hot Licks, ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

using further in text

In Mr Robot the main actor said: "Must I really justify myself any further?" My question is: Why did he say "any further" and not just "further"? It has the same meaning. Because if translate any ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

Call it sublimation; he, himself did can it that - but the fight gave meaning to his life

I am not able to understand the grammar in the following sentence taken from Asimov, I. (2004). Second foundation (Vol. 3). Call it sublimation; he, himself did can it that - but the fight gave ...
1
vote
0answers
30 views

In the sentence - 'Like swimming, skiing is great exercise', why isn't an article 'a' used before the adjective 'great'?

My question may be that of a novice level but please make me understand the use case here. Thanks a bunch in advance.
1
vote
0answers
27 views

Active voice corresponding to “what he shall be done to”

The following is a quotation from Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. No, reprobate! You are a castaway - be off, or I'll hurt you seriously! I'll have you all modeled in wax and clay; and the ...
1
vote
0answers
25 views

a special question to the predicate

I've got a sentence: "Му sister's got five lessons today". I'm asked to put a special question to the predicate. I wonder, how I can do that! Can anyone? Thanks in advance, Vic.
1
vote
0answers
38 views

Clips, magazines, what's the difference?

In the firearms community there is often a lot of argument over whether the part that holds rounds is to be called a magazine or a clip. Apparently, magazines are those that are closed on four sides ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

How has pathetic fallacy's meaning changed?

When John Ruskin first coined the term pathetic fallacy he truly did mean that people were committing a fallacy when describing inanimate objects as having characteristics (or having pathos so were ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

How do I find Oxford/Merriam Words by Year?

Is there a way to search for when a word become an official word? My guess is that words that have been around "forever" were part of early unabridged English dictionaries. For modern history though, ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

Differences between “tranche” and “batch”

I work in the data science realm, where we tend to use "batch" when referring to collections of data points composed as follows: Biosamples 1-10, processed as per A, on Day 1 = batch 1 Biosamples 2-...

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