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Jan
12
comment How did the term “Mistress” take on two rather different connotations?
I wasn't talking a about a "dominatrix" in today's sense of the word. But Queen Elizabeth I was clearly a dominant "mistress," who had many male admirers and some "lovers," all of whom (except Philip II) were lower-ranking than her.
Jan
12
comment How did the term “Mistress” take on two rather different connotations?
It's true that "a woman's family would not take kindly to an upstart" MARRYING a noble woman. But the idea of courtly love was based on a (theoretically) PLATONIC relationship. Besides, such a woman would be courted only in "middle age" (late 30s or 40s) after the "family" (parents, and even husband) were all dead. Also, a lot of the "upstarts" under courtly love were YOUNG knights (who hadn't made their mark). Once they did, they would "graduate" from relationships with noble "mistresses" (and marry younger women of similar rank).
Jan
12
comment How did the term “Mistress” take on two rather different connotations?
Using the "courtly love" model, I believe that "early on," (12th century), "mistress" DID refer to men chasing higher status women who would be their "mistress" in the dominant sense of the word. But based on your reference (and others), it seems the term "crossed over" in mid-Millenium (15th-16th century), to include "dominant" men (kings or dukes), "dating" lower born women.
Dec
23
comment Do Americans “gee things up”, or is it just a British usage?
@FumbleFingers:To "gin things up" is to "stir things up." I believe that it could have either meaning.
Dec
16
comment Proper term for people from eastern Asia
I believe that this is similar to another question: english.stackexchange.com/questions/34321/…
Dec
11
comment What does it mean to “drink a lot of haterade”?
"She is drinking haterade" means she is doing the hating.
Dec
9
comment Significance of BrE vs AmE in the US
@AlessandroMosca: My school was probably "typical" of American schools.
Dec
9
comment Significance of BrE vs AmE in the US
As George Gershwin wrote: "I say "to-may-to" and you say "to-mat-o," etc.
Dec
9
comment Significance of BrE vs AmE in the US
@onomatomaniak: No, I said the other judges would favor American English and penalize British English. I managed to get the penalty "revoked."
Nov
17
comment What is the meaning and origin of “set-piece battle”?
@PLL: I'd say that a "set piece" battle is one that has successfully been "wargamed" by the professionals.
Nov
17
comment What is the meaning and origin of “set-piece battle”?
@MattFenwick: To take off on T.E.D., a "set piece" battle is "supposed" to play like a wargame, (with set-up pieces) although it often doesn't!
Nov
14
comment Is there a word for telling the truth (technically) in order to misguide?
@ShreevatsaR: What he actually said was, "While my responses were LEGALLY ACCURATE, I did NOT VOLUNTEER INFORMATION." Yours truly shortened it for personal use.
Nov
14
comment Is there a word for telling the truth (technically) in order to misguide?
Welcome to the site. An upvote to get you started.
Nov
11
comment Difference between “Excuse me” and “Sorry”
@Marthaª: I have. But my preference in this context is "sorry."
Nov
11
comment Romney claims that China likes to “flaunt the rules”
@JOe: "It's a terrible crime against English" for someone running for President of the United States. Whole wars have been started by mispelled/misplaced words, or even commas in diplomatic documents.
Nov
5
comment Are “reckless” and “feckless” synonyms?
@Hugo: I have voted to reopen-- see my comment with regard to the question. I have upvoted your answer because I felt it addressed the question, and am inviting you to join me in voting to reopen.
Nov
5
comment Are “reckless” and “feckless” synonyms?
This isn't quite general reference. It's about two similar-sounding words with somewhat similar meanings with a fine shade of difference (covered in some of our answers). It's worth articulating those (fine) differences.
Oct
6
comment What is origin of the word 'do'?
@ColinFine: I believe this is an informal usage, which may be why the OED would not confirm this "formally."
Oct
5
comment “Have at it” : what's the object of the transitive verb “have” here?
A better expression is "have a GO at it" (British). "Have at it" is a clumsy abbreviation.
Oct
2
comment Word for “taking advantage of a second chance or opportunity”
Welcome to the site. An upvote to get you started.