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14

A fact does, in fact, have to be the truth at the time you're using the word. By 'truth', I mean something you believe to be true (due to any of several possible reasons). A few years ago, it was not a “fact” that the solar system had eight planets. It is now. (Just an example, don't attack the example.) When a jury convicts a man, it's a fact that he's ...


6

There are some good answers here. I thought it would be useful to expand on meaning (5) in your list, in case you ever have to deal with it. In English common law, most matters (criminal or civil) came to be tried by a jury. Over time a rule developed that some questions would be decided by the jury and others by the judge. The jury decided questions of ...


4

I think that you are reading too much into the last two definitions listed. The fifth one is apparently a legal term of art and as we all know lawyers have little use for the actual truth. The fourth covers instances where facts are asserted without being verified. If I asked a group of toddlers for a list of facts about where babies come from, that's still ...


3

What I'm really after... is whether the adulteration of this particular word renders it...meaningless, and therefore something to be avoided. The word is not being "adulterated"; it is being used in different ways in different speech contexts. A fact is that which exists or existed, happens or happened, and which can, as a result, be *known, thought, ...


3

I understand that the use of learnings is very controversial. Some say you can't use it, while others say, "there is nothing wrong with teachings, so why with learnings?". I want to use learnings not as the action of learning something (a lesson) but as a list of things that are being learned and that have been learned. The noun 'learning' ...


3

What's the meaning of 'pray' as bolded above? Is it the modern one of prayer, or the olden one? How did the 2 syntagma (ex- "out" + orare "pray") combine to mean exorare "to prevail upon,"? I don't understand this key link in the etymology 3 orare means: 'to pray/beg/plead' 2 ex doesn't mean only out, but also: 'out of/ from/ because of' as ...


2

You got a good answer for BrE. In my experience, lodger is rarely used in AmE (I have never heard it used, and rarely seen it in print.) People renting a room in another's home are usually called roomers or roommates. People renting a hotel room, motel room, vacation cabin, condo, (or even a "lodge" e.g. a ski lodge) for a short vacation are usually called ...


2

This is a mix between your A and C options. She is directing her singing to him and specifically for him. In English (or at least standard American English), singing for someone means you are singing to that person; you are directing your singing to that person. Now taking the entire sentence into consideration, he is questioning her singing because, based ...


2

A couple of good suggestions from Atkins, but you could also improve the clarity by removing the redundant "... he wore" which would immediately remove the confusion: She left small pins in all his shoes, to injure his feet.


2

"there is nothing wrong with teachings so why with learnings?" To which I should respond, it might be nice if English had such an expression, but it doesn't. The good news: "Lessons" can cover a lot more than formal sessions of teaching: you have "life-lessons". "Never do such-and-such at poker", and after losing your shirt you have learned a important ...


2

Learning as a noun is very unnatural. Using it would instantly mark you as someone who speaks English as a second language. The appropriate noun to use is lesson. I don't think there is any logical reason why it is unnatural, because, as is so often the case, language is unpredictable. You say that lesson or lessons implies intentionality, but this is not ...


2

You're right about the ambiguity. The adjective last refers to the item at the end of a list (or series of meetings). As such, it can also refer to the most recent meeting. At our last meeting, we plotted to invade Canada. Today we will discuss Mexico. Using last does not specify whether the meetings will continue to occur in the future. The term ...


2

Last can mean final or latest (i.e. most recent). There is no perfect foolproof way to disambiguate which meaning is intended if a written sentence is analyzed out of context. In speech, they could be spoken slightly differently, though it's difficult to describe the nuanced differences fully, and it's almost impossible to document this behavior because it ...


2

Normally, the term last meeting says to me "most recent meeting," not "final meeting." That would be the default interpretation, even though people realize the other one is possible. Compare: At our last meeting, we discussed the budget. (most recent; there will be others). However, last meeting can unambiguously mean "final meeting" in certain ...


2

Your question sounds as if you are in a Quixotic fight against a particular false Scotsman, not realising that there is no such thing as a true Scotsman, or for that matter, a true X for any word X whatsoever. You could just as well be "struggling to decide whether to jettison use of the word word, because the definition appears to be not solid enough to ...


2

Usually when people talk about a "double negative" they mean a construction like I didn't see no-one. where a negative-polarity item like no, none, nothing is in the scope of an explicitly negative verb. They are of note because standard varieties of English don't allow them (and people try to rationalise the objection by the claim that the above ...


1

Does a “fact” have to be true? No. Here is a detailed definition of fact from OED for the sense that we are dealing with: A thing that has really occurred or is actually the case; a thing certainly known to be a real occurrence or to represent the truth. Hence: a particular truth known by actual observation or authentic testimony, as opposed to ...


1

I use "Lead" in my profession... but, I see your point - it doesn't pack much of a wallop. How about "Design and Development Facilitator" ?


1

I'm brand new here so am cautiously, I hope, going to get my toes wet. To teach is a deliberate act. One can teach many different things on a single subject, therefore "teachings". Teachings are also a definable body. However, to learn, while it requires participation of some sort (even if only, for instance, learning about gravity by falling off a ...


1

[does] "would have gone"... imply that he didn't go after all? Basically, yes. It's a double negative, but here the doubled negative does not cancel out, but rather strengthens, It intensifies the negation, meaning it's a negative concord (NC) which was common in Middle English; some scholars say it's gone from the language; others say it's still ...


1

I gathered your intended interpretation on first reading, but your second meaning could also be taken. A comma would help: She left small pins in all the shoes he wore, to injure his feet. But to be completely clear, reorder the sentence thus: To injure his feet, she left small pins in all the shoes he wore.


1

Putting to one side the parts of speech which may be involved, the OP is asking whether there is ambiguity (and how it might be made clear). The two phrases under discussion - a dark blue necktie and a black polka dot dress have a clear, implied sense to me as British English speaker: the necktie is dark blue in colour and the dress has black polka dots. ...


1

Wiktionary says that court can refer to (Social) Royal society. The residence of a sovereign, prince, nobleman, or ether dignitary; a palace. The noblemen visited the queen in her court. The collective body of persons composing the retinue of a sovereign or person high in authority; all the surroundings of a sovereign in his regal state. The ...


1

In this case, the proper thing to do is to look at the definitions of court in the OED, and figure out which meanings were used in the 1550's and were also relevant to the word courtyard. Doing this yields (first usage 1297, and still in use in 1598): 2a. A large building or set of buildings standing in a court-yard; a large house or castle. In early ...



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