Unanswered Questions

17
votes
0answers
1k views

Graphotactics of possessive: the true reason for the apostrophe

I have some hypotheses for English graphotactics: 〈w〉 and 〈y〉 are optional positional variants (i.e. allographs) of 〈u〉 and 〈i〉, respectively, in digraphs that correspond with diphthongs or vowels: ...
6
votes
1answer
82 views

Is there a word for when a child no longer “hero-worships” their parents?

A part of growing up, is losing your "hero-worship" of your parents. The moment you realize they're not larger-than-life, but they have got flaws... The moment you start looking at them with new ...
4
votes
0answers
97 views

Are the cats and dogs of the idiom “it's raining cats and dogs” plural in usage?

I recently heard someone say the following: It's cats and dogs out there! As in "it's raining cats and dogs out there." I then thought that person should have said Those are cats and dogs ...
3
votes
0answers
69 views

Is this just a peculiarity of the specific text, or does the disuse of “‑self” to indicate the reflexive here speak to broader trends?

In the 1917 JPS translation of the Hebrew Bible, we have, in Ecclesiastes 2: I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards; I made me gardens and parks, and I planted trees in ...
2
votes
1answer
11 views

Words for the “essential character” of each sense organ?

Looking at the definition for flavor and timbre, both are used to describe the "essential character" of a particular sense. If flavor is the essential character of our taste sense, and timbre is the ...
2
votes
3answers
51 views

How do you describe the 'darker side' of someone? Context given here

Context: Foster child learns to manipulate people to make them love her. She meets a kind mother for once, and she doesn't need to revert to her 'psychopathic' (for lack of a better word) side. I am ...
2
votes
0answers
68 views

How to pronounce the polish name “Aronszajn”

Nachman Aronszajn was a american mathematicaion born in poland. I will make a talk (in english) on a subject for which I would like to cite some of his works. But since I am not a native english ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

The grammar behind 'above mentioned'

A colleague of mine wrote the following sentence: I have worked on the below mentioned issues: Now, I'm not a native speaker, and certainly not an authority on grammar. I construct sentences ...
2
votes
2answers
26 views

Better names for single component and composite component

We are developing an equipment system which basically tracks every single component used in bigger structures for a certain industry. We are distinguishing between single components and composite ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

'Might' is the subjunctive inflection of 'may'; was there ever a subjunctive inflection of 'must'?

I acknowledge that there is no subjunctive mood in English. However, there are variants of some words that we might regard as subjunctive variants. For example, 'might' is the, if you will, ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

Ma'am: Is it as in “ham” solely for the Queen, whilst it remains spoken “ma”+“um” (less any glotal stop) for all others?

It's become conventional wisdom that, when addressing the Queen after introduction, one must be sure to address her as "ma'am" as if it were to rhyme with "ham". Only "ma'am" and "ham" don't rhyme. ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

Non-progressive eventive sentences in the present tense

When using a non-progressive eventive sentence in the present tense, it typically cannot describe a particular event: it often describes a habit or a generalization. E.g. if one says "John smokes a ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

“Undersize” as an adjective? Where did the “d” go?

As I was reading this article, I came across the word "undersize" being used three separate times as an adjective. I was confused, as I don't think I've ever seen that word used that way before (or at ...
2
votes
2answers
52 views

“to require someone to do something” vs “to require that someone do something”

Professor required his students to return their papers typed. vs Professor required that his students return their papers typed. Which of the examples is correct? Do they have ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

meaning of carnival diver

Who knows what a carnival diver is? I heard it in the song "On a Tuesday in Amsterdam" by Counting Crows and I came across two references on the internet. What can it be?

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