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107

This is called paraprosdokian. A paraprosdokian (from Greek "παρα-", meaning "beyond" and "προσδοκία", meaning "expectation") is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or ...


33

If you delete the most of all and rewrite it as a bulletted list, the problem becomes clear: We hope you will find our Qualifications to be: well-organized concise to exceed your expectations Your sentence treats well-organized, concise and to exceed your expectations as being in the same grammatical category. well-organized and concise ...


11

Sentences 1 and 3 are both correct. Sentence 1 is a counterfactual conditional sentence, and sentence 3 is a factual conditional sentence. Factual: In these constructions, the condition clause expresses a condition the truth of which is unverified. Counterfactual: In these constructions, the condition clause expresses a condition that is known to ...


10

This is mainly a philosophical problem: what are opposites? You can only have opposites if you have a frame of reference. In one context, the opposite of man can be woman; in another, it can be beast or nature or child, and so on. Metaphorically speaking, you need a mirror to reflect against, or a hinge to pivot around. You need to reduce the number of ...


8

We have moved away from obsoleted and technologies being deprecated. makes no sense. "Obsoleted" what? You have an adjective and no noun to modify. You would be better off saying We have moved away from technologies that are obsoleted or being deprecated. Perhaps you could also say something like We have moved away from obsoleted and ...


8

I find this undocumented but fairly compelling: You betcha-- Contraction of "you bet your...." (life, ass, money, etc.). Also "you betcher", as in You betcha! or You betcher ass! (from http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=You%20Betcha)


7

The phrase "I'm not understand" is constructed... well... badly. It's simply incorrect. Your two alternatives are correct. You can use do understand or is understanding, but you can't use do understanding or is understand. You use do with the verb in base form, and is with the verb in present participle form.


7

Google you can? http://www.google.com/search?q=yoda+speech+pattern gives among many others http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/subject-verb-object-order.aspx Yoda's speech patterns became more consistent as more movies came out. In essence, George Lucas became more practiced in Yodish and settled into a consistent set of rules. For example, in the ...


7

I would go with: As you’ll see in my enclosed resume, I have the educational background, professional experience and track record you are looking for. The clauses in this sentence are not "independent enough" to warrant a semicolon. The "for which" sounds a bit complicated. "look for" (make sure, ascertain, anticipate or expect) is better than "a ...


7

Best is the superlative not only of the adjective good, but also of the adverb well and has the meaning, in the OED’s definition, in the most excellent way, in the most eminent degree; in the most suitable manner, with the greatest advantage, to the fullest extent. As best you can means in the best possible way you are able. You might well wonder why it ...


7

Yes the "it" refers to something concrete. Exactly what is not entirely clear, but ambiguity is not the same as existential. The questioner is probably referring to the laptop, Windows 7, the installation process or a similarly nebulous concept (Sorry David Schwartz!). The concept is only nebulous if you understand the detail and know that there are ...


7

Want is not causative. A Causative verb can be paraphrased as "cause S to be true", where S is some proposition that might refer to an event (e.g, cause it to explode) an action (cause someone to trip) a state (cause someone to be dead) These are, respectively, paraphrases for the causative transitive verbs explode, trip, and kill. All causative verbs ...


7

Based on context, Qualifications would have to be taken to be some kind of written document, but none of the senses of the noun "qualification" in e.g. Merriam-Webster could be construed to refer to a document. So either it's some kind of jargon, or it's a wrong use of the word "qualification." If it's some kind of jargon, that would need to be explained for ...


6

I have to agree with you. Collins Dictionary defines "subsection": a section of a section; subdivision It is certainly grammatically correct to use either word, and I think it is semantically correct both ways as well. However, as you say, writing "Subsection 2.3" it introducing redundancy, as it is (as you say) blatantly obvious that section 2.3 is a ...


6

Because of their etymology. ORIGIN Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French, from Old French carpentier, charpentier, from late Latin carpentarius (artifex) ‘carriage (maker),’ from carpentum ‘wagon,’ of Gaulish origin; related to car. ORIGIN Middle English: from an Anglo-Norman French variant of Old French bochier, from boc ‘he-goat,’ ...


6

I'd have to say that's a typographical error; the first "a" is out of place and the phrase doesn't make sense in that sentence (nor would it anywhere that I can think of). I think the author probably meant to say this (my emphasis on some of the phrases): The major shift here is that we treat both Entities and Users Groups as very cheap resources. ...


6

The Chicago Manual of Style is mute on the subject of consecutive parentheses, but, I note, doesn't use them in any of its examples. (EDIT: I found their reference regarding back to back parentheses, and expanded my answer.) To apply their guidelines to your sentence, I would use the parentheses for the gloss of VSMOW, and use em dashes to set off the ...


6

It most certainly can be attributed to something in particular. "It" could be a dialog box that pops up during the install. "It" could be a line of text, before the installer has gone into a graphical mode. This it is ambiguous, but not existential. It could mean the laptop, Windows 7 -- two nouns that appear in the quotation -- or any number of implied ...


6

There is a well-known formula that appears to describe the frequency distribution of English words reasonably well: Zipf's law states that given some corpus of natural language utterances, the frequency of any word is inversely proportional to its rank in the frequency table. Thus the most frequent word will occur approximately twice as often as the ...


6

This construction has been explored over on English Language & Usage, and there's an interesting and more thorough treatment here. The bottom line is there's nothing "grammatically incorrect" about "Just because X doesn't mean Y", but there are definitely some peculiarities. Not least that we're happier with "mean", rather than alternatives such as ...


6

In US usage, this form of address is acceptable and common in written materials and in formal speeches. However, while military and political office titles are often used as a form of direct address Mayor Jones, how will you vote? I am reporting for duty, General Puglisi. occupational tiles are rarely used in that fashion. When talking to the ...


5

"But" expresses ideas in opposition, not why they are in opposition, and just substituting though, although, and similar words won't change that. Your sentence could be recast as Before resorting to chicken, I want to see how far I can get with alligator (I might end up cooking the chicken) or Though there was chicken in the fridge, I had to try ...


5

Should in this usage basically functions similarly to if or in case. You could rewrite the sentence in question as: This is a defensive mechanism that ensures that the productsList variable is always set to a meaningful value if the code in the try block fails for some reason. As far as how it functions as a part of speech, I believe it's the future ...


5

I assume this is taken from a technical piece of writing, such as the documentation for a program, so I will start by saying that you will not run into sentences this convoluted elsewhere. In documentation, people often cut down on words in order to save space. A fuller version of this sentence might be: RLIMIT_NOFILE is defined as one more than the ...


5

I think you've punctuated it correctly, period. NOAD agrees with us: Macmillan lists this usage as a third meaning of the word, with the qualifier SPOKEN:


5

It's definitely anti-jokes. Wikipedia's article on it is very helpful. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-humor "Anti-humor is a type of indirect humor that involves the joke-teller delivering something which is deliberately not funny, or lacking in intrinsic meaning. The audience is expecting something humorous, and when this does not happen, the irony ...


5

I strongly suspect that that is was coined as a literal translation of the Latin expression id est (i.e.) with the same meaning, because the construction makes more sense in Latin. Originally, that is (to say) was used at the beginning of a sentence, where that referred to the previous sentence, or between the two sentences, just like i.e.: The first ...


5

Whoever is making these comments does not know the first thing about grammar—or English, it would seem. In some cases, we find the solutions are actually … ‘In some cases’ functions here as a sentential adverb, and as such it stands outside the sentence—it does not belong to anything, syntactically. The sentence does in fact begin with the subject. ...


5

It is an example of anacoluthon: a sentence which starts using one grammatical construction and ending with a different one. (Just like that.) ... find our qualifications to be... to exceed your expectations. A simple grammatical fix is: We hope you will find our qualifications to be well-organized and concise, and most of all, to exceed your ...



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