Unanswered Questions

5
votes
0answers
98 views

Is there reference material for dictionary abbreviations used in the first half of the 20th century?

I have a lot of abbreviations that I can't work out the meaning of from an old etymological dictionary and I'm looking for a reference that will explain them all. I have a copy of an etymological ...
5
votes
2answers
151 views
+50

Are there any words pronounced with an unstressed short monophthong at the end of word that are not /ə/?

Following my question Are there any words in English pronounced with /e/ at the end? I was wondering if there are any words pronounced with an unstressed short monophthong at the end of word that are ...
4
votes
3answers
197 views

Is there a word/term for “verbs which indicate the underlying sentiment of a statement”?

Sorry, I'm not sure the best way to describe this, but hopefully you understand what I mean. Something like the result of the verb(to say) and any adverb(insultingly) = verb(to insult). Another way ...
4
votes
1answer
161 views

Hypothetical declarative with the present subjunctive

So there's this usage of what seems to be the present subjunctive that I haven't been able to find references on: A: "He said he was going to kill you." B: "What? He kill me? Fat chance!" ...
3
votes
0answers
67 views

Origin of “Why is a mouse when it spins?” riddle

Question: "Why is a mouse when it spins?" Answer: "Because the higher the fewer." There are some great responses regarding the provenance of this seemingly-nonsensical riddle at this ...
3
votes
1answer
71 views

How to say “Castile”

I am from Castile, NY. As far as I can tell it is the only town in the USA with that name. We say the name like /kae-STAI-ol/, but I am aware that many people pronounce it like /kae-STEEL/. The name ...
3
votes
2answers
65 views

When did “by way of” start meaning “originally from”

Some years ago, after returning to New York from some years living abroad, I began to notice New Yorkers of a certain generation (in their 20s and early 30s) describing themselves or others as "from ...
3
votes
2answers
119 views

Do the -ing and to-infinitive “verbs” that follow catenative verbs always take the grammatical function of “noun”?

I'm wondering whether or not the verb form that follows a catenative verb has the grammatical function of a noun or of a verb, and whether or not it depends on the first catenative verb. "I like to ...
3
votes
3answers
73 views

'susceptible of' vs 'susceptible to"

What are their similarities and differences? The definitions on http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/susceptible look similar: for example, A is 'influenced or affected' by B, ...
3
votes
1answer
76 views

Tenses with “until then” - Is past perfect needed or is it optional?

If I understood correctly, "until now" can be "until then" in the past sentences. Would this be correct? 1) It was a new approach that was never successfully performed until then. or should I ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

conceived of as vs. conceived as

When I want to write that some something has been "taken to mean" or "understood" or "interpreted as" XYZ, I sometimes use the phrase "to conceive of something as XYZ, where XYZ usually is a longer ...
2
votes
0answers
83 views

The meaning of “hemorrhoidal sensations”

The Swede, like the Frenchman, prefers in Poetry the light, the clear and the transparent. The profound, indeed, he demands and values also; but it must be a depth that is pellucid. He wishes that ...
2
votes
3answers
82 views

Is there an implied verb missing?

Is this statement correct? - However catastrophic the physical abuse, the lasting scars came from the verbal insults that had been hurled at them. Does the first part of the sentence before the ...
2
votes
0answers
116 views

“That awkward moment when…”

I know when people use the phrase "that awkward moment when (blah blah blah)..." it is clearly a sentence fragment. What exactly is it called though? A dependent clause? A noun clause? I have no idea. ...
2
votes
2answers
113 views

Is “Sent to say” proper?

Is it incorrect grammar to say that someone "sent to say" something? As in "Joe sent to say that he would love to join you all for the pic nic". I know that I don't have the greatest grammar skills in ...

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