Unanswered Questions

8
votes
3answers
454 views

Where does “contango” come from?

Contango is a very common term in financial business that originally referred to: (on the London stock exchange) a fee paid by a buyer of securities to the seller for the privilege of ...
7
votes
2answers
57 views

Do I need these commas in the case below?

I'm debating back and forth on some grammar choices because I can't decide for certain whether the second parts of my sentences are independent clauses since their subjects are in the first parts of ...
7
votes
2answers
171 views

Preservation of the en- prefix form of Latin negative prefix in-, in enemy & enmity

The "en" in "enemy" is a prefix, meaning not: the origin is Latin inimicus, from in + amicus - a "not friend" or an "unfriend". http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=enemy The Latin in- changes to ...
6
votes
2answers
194 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
86 views

Term for phrases which are synonymous as a whole but antonymous on a literal reading

Is there a term of phrases where there are multiple ways to say the same meaning (that is, the phrases are synonymous), but on the surface, the structure of at least some of the phrase components have ...
5
votes
4answers
135 views

Noun for a person who thrives under pressure

I don't know of any nouns that describes a person who thrives under pressure. In basketball and sports in general, I know people who do well under pressure are called clutch. However, clutch would be ...
5
votes
3answers
283 views

Dinner at mine or yours?

I have noticed in British TV shows the common usage of 'mine' or 'yours' being used to mean 'my place' and 'your place' respectively. I spent a year in Britain in the early 1980s and I don't recall ...
4
votes
1answer
83 views

Is there a term for the inability to find a word which is then substituted with a “funnier” word?

Take this sentence: "If people are lost when they start out, they usually just keep getting...loster." — from "Don't Make Me Think" Obviously "loster" isn't a word, but I see this turn ...
4
votes
1answer
134 views

What word describes writing a word someone else said while trying to write something else?

I was trying to write "diagram" and someone said "poop" and I ended up trying to write "diapoop." I quickly caught myself, but I've always wanted to know what word is used for this phenomenon, if ...
4
votes
1answer
161 views

Ambiguity of the word 'any'?

Given the following question, in the context of a poll or vote: Should any employee of Company X be allowed to assume absolute authority in any project with Company X's name associated? Under ...
4
votes
1answer
94 views

How can one best clarify the different senses of “compare”?

I have long felt that the taboo on comparing anyone to Hitler and many similar inhibitions were based on a confusion between “compare” in the senses of “liken to” and in the sense of “compare and ...
4
votes
3answers
311 views

Why does a pronoun as the predicate of an indirect object (e.g. “I gave her it”) sound wrong?

Forgive me if I've used the wrong terms in the title, I did my best given my middle-school grammar lessons and Wikipedia. "I gave her the book" sounds just fine, but "I gave her it" sounds stilted ...
4
votes
1answer
336 views

Conflicting Advice: “Not Only,” “But Also” Constructions — Comma, No Comma, Parallel Structure?

I've searched for the answer on this site and other websites, and found conflicting advice and sample sentences that look wrong to me. I'm posting this question hoping for clarification. My ...
4
votes
1answer
134 views

Shakespeare's Scansion: the Sequel

Okay, so we seem to have established (with lots of great and generous help from StoneyB and Peter Shor) that: where it came to certain diphthongs, Shakespeare either elided syllables that didn't ...
4
votes
4answers
136 views

Word for wanting to someone to fail but only for the lesson it will bring

I am looking for a word or phrase for wanting someone to fail but only to teach them a lesson. for example when you tell a child "Don't run down the hill or you will fall", but they continue anyway. ...

15 30 50 per page