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bio website etalabs.net
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visits member for 2 years, 9 months
seen Apr 2 at 2:48

Mar
16
comment What is the equivalent of sub/super sonic for the speed of light?
@Jim: Presumably tardyonic refers to the speed of a TARDIS? ;-)
Mar
15
comment How do you politely ask for someone's gender?
Apologies if this has already been said, but don't. The need to know is really exaggerated and usually problematic. It's especially infuriating how people (especially on the phone) insist on using 'ma'am' and 'sir' unnecessarily and often offending the person they're talking to by getting it wrong.
Feb
15
comment Which definition of “atheism” is the proper usage?
Overall I like your answer, but your point 2 flies in the face of what I call common sense about English usage. I'll grant that there's an imprecise, logically confused vernacular usage like you describe, but I don't think that makes it correct. An analogy would be the use of double-negatives as emphatic negatives rather than negation-of-negation.
Jan
20
comment When should “no problem” replace “you're welcome” as a response to “thank you”?
Thus, my view of PatrickT's idea that "you're welcome" is the "polite" form and "no problem" is the "informal" form is that this is an inherently classist view; "you're welcome" is associated with "polite" usage because higher-social-status people are considered "polite", while "no problem" is associated with "informal" usage by people of lesser social status who could not get by, socially, with using "you're welcome" when it would imply an unacceptable reverse-social-power-gradient power dynamic.
Jan
20
comment When should “no problem” replace “you're welcome” as a response to “thank you”?
I agree completely with this answer (and disagree completely with PatrickT's comment). The whole point of "you're welcome" is and has always been expressing a social power dynamic by which the person who has been thanked feels entitled to receiving gratitude. I suspect this could be supported by looking for examples (in literature, cinema, etc.) where a person of lower social status says "you're welcome" to someone of higher social status; my suspicion is that these are unlikely to be found in any significant frequency.
Aug
22
awarded  Teacher
Aug
22
answered More formal way of saying: “Sorry to bug you again about this, but …”
Aug
22
comment More formal way of saying: “Sorry to bug you again about this, but …”
I don't have the rep to downvote, but I would consider any use of "sorry" (or equivalent) followed by "but" (or equivalent) bad usage. It's the classic "fake apology" pattern and it's annoyingly insincere.
Aug
16
awarded  Citizen Patrol
Jul
13
awarded  Supporter
Jul
13
comment What does the phrase “ungodly hour” really mean?
I think the outrageousness is the important aspect, not the lateness. I can think of certain activities for which noon or just after work might be "ungodly" to some people, and for which midnight would be perfectly "normal". :-)