Unanswered Questions

11
votes
1answer
119 views

Etymology of 'rime' and 'unrime', meaning 'to put on/takeoff outdoor clothing'

These terms were in use when I was a boy in South London back in the 1930s/1940s. My grandmother would tell me to "Rime up well." or "Get well rimed up." when I was going to go outdoors on a cold day ...
10
votes
1answer
301 views

Origin of the slang AmE and BrE usage of “beef”

Beef began its life as an intransitive verb in 1888 and soon took on the noun meaning in 1899 appearing in such expressions as "What's your beef? and "I had a beef with him" (not a steak). Beef ...
10
votes
1answer
168 views

Historical frequency of parenthetical plural(s)

Seems to me that parenthetical plurals have been increasing in recent years. Is there any way to accurately measure this? Google Ngram Viewer seems like a method, but the use of parentheses, first ...
8
votes
3answers
485 views

Are stative verbs always inchoative when used with an imperative?

Wikipedia says that stative verbs are always inchoative when used as imperatives. However, negative imperatives are used to exhibit prohibition in "including the giving of prohibition," and saying "...
4
votes
0answers
51 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-...
4
votes
2answers
89 views

Word for equivalence preserving transformations of equations

I am searching for a mathematical term describing an algebraic manipulation of an equation which preserves equivalence. So while adding 2 to both sides of an equation results in an equivalent equation,...
4
votes
2answers
112 views

Is the use of ing acceptable in order to suggest a continuous action after so as to be, in order to be etc.?

Example sentences are as follows: "In order for it to be happening it is necessary that the circumstances be right." or "So that it may be happening it is necessary that the circumstances be right."...
4
votes
1answer
108 views

Is “a few street away” a grammatically acceptable idiomatic expression in some dialect of UK English?

I am an American and I am reading a book titled Bloodmage by a British author named Stephen Aryan. He uses expressions I was previously unfamiliar with, such as "sat" instead of "sitting" (i.e., "sat ...
4
votes
1answer
122 views

Is “Announceable” as a noun an Australianism?

I just heard of the word "Announceable" being as a noun. This word was announced as a Word of the Year candidate in 2011 by the Macquarie Dictionary. An example from 2010, albeit using sneer quotes: ...
4
votes
2answers
95 views

Connotation vs. Subtext

Can these two words ever be used interchangeably? My intuition as a writer tells me that I can either say (for example) The word denotes (x), but its connotation is (y). or The definition of the ...
4
votes
3answers
106 views

Difference between “compact” and “accord”

What's the difference between those two words? But the Marshall Islands holds an important card: Under a 1986 compact, the roughly 70,000 residents of the Marshalls The debate over loss and ...
4
votes
2answers
167 views

Why does “to dip” mean “to leave”?

So, "dip" has come to mean "leave" in American slang. As in, "Let's dip," i.e. "Let's get out of here." How did that happen? The best I could come up with is: a dip in the road obscures vision, so if ...
3
votes
0answers
17 views

Words that are both Anagrams and Synonyms

So my father and I were talking, and I commented that it is supremely satisfying that the words it's and 'tis are synonyms that have the exact same distribution of characters (they are anagrams). He ...
3
votes
1answer
43 views

What do you call the tendency to oversimplify an issue?

I have noticed that there is a tendency in many people, and certainly in groups as a whole, to avoid, ignore, or trivialize complex and difficult issues by placing focus on issues that are similar and ...
3
votes
0answers
38 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 ...

15 30 50 per page