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Oct
16
comment Pronunciation of “every body”, “every thing” etc. when written as two separate words
As an American, I find myself pronouncing "everybody" the same as "every buddy", and "every body" as "every" followed by "body". I don't notice much, if any, distinction between "everything" and "every thing". If I notice any difference, it's that I emphasize the "er" in "every" a bit more strongly when saying "every thing" than I do when I say "everything". But I definitely say "everybody" differently than I say "every body". Not sure whether others do as well, will need to listen. "Every body" comes up infrequently in conversation nowadays.
Oct
14
comment How on Earth can we say 'a' moon?
I see nothing interesting in the fly example. For the moon examples - my intuition says that the indefinite article may apply to members of sets which are real or imaginary, actual or hypothetical, literal or figurative. Moons could refer to possible moons belonging to a number of hypothetical universes in which Earth's one moon always appeared in one specific form, for instance. I could also say, "My friend's an amateur detective - a real Dick Tracy!" figuratively to mean that my friend has qualities in common with the imaginary character of the same name.
Oct
2
comment Did I show you my graduation photo or have I shown you my graduation photo?
Both are acceptable. As an American, my impression is that the past tense is typically preferred to the present perfect in most cases. I'd even say "Did I already show you my graduation photo?" and "Did I show you my graduation photo yet?" although I understand those might be considered "errors" in, e.g., British English (OK, maybe in American English too, but nobody cares (OK, people care, but I don't care what they think)).
Sep
30
comment What is wrong with the word “performant”?
Does it really not appear in the dictionary? I thought performant existed as a legal term used in contracts... but that might be borrowed from the French rather than being a real English word. Any ideas about this? In any case: I completely agree that it's not a real word when used to describe something that performs.
Sep
30
comment Would “Human Resources are excited or is excited” correct?
Probably depends on American vs. British English. In British English, "Human Resources are" is likely fine since there are presumably many people working in the department. In American English, "Human Resources is" would likely be the only choice for native speakers.
Sep
29
comment In a regular sentence, I could add more information by using dashes - like this - or commas ,like this, but what if I want to do that in a list?
What about parentheses? Alternatively, you could drop the last comma as it's not technically required before the "and" at the end of a list of things (though not wrong, it's not required). Parentheses seem to solve your problem, though.
Sep
29
comment Is “majorily” a word?
Pretty sure you made that one up.
Sep
26
comment Are there any other cases where it is okay to infer the subject?
I guess a better comment might be that language is used for communication, so as long as the language enables effective communication, it's "OK" to use it however you like. Tell your buddy that there's no Academie Anglaise and if he doesn't like that he can buy a beret and move to France.
Sep
26
comment Pejorative word for excellent pupil
Interesting, never heard it before. Is it possible this is more common in non-American dialects? Google N-Grams seems to indicate it's about 5-10 times as common in Britain (though still about five times less common than turpentine is there; note that turpentine is about the same in UK vs. American English).
Sep
26
comment Are there any other cases where it is okay to infer the subject?
Sentences need not be answered with complete sentences... although you typically wouldn't omit only the subject, but also the verb in such cases. This is especially common when answering questions (or making comments) about yourself. Q: "Where are you?" A: "Here!" Q(sort of): "It's time to go!" A(sort of): "Coming!" (I'm) Not sure whether that's what you had in mind ((do you) See what I did there? ... and just now?)
Sep
26
comment Pejorative word for excellent pupil
Maybe consider overachiever or teacher's pet? Neither is exactly right but might be getting there. Suck-up or poser are more generic but might be a little closer. Do you need a word for speaking or a word for writing? Formal or informal? In a literary context, you might be able to make an analogy to a well-known example.
Sep
26
comment Which is correct: 'that type always does' or that type always do'?
+1 To be clear, to the average American audience, the "do" version would sound like a mistake.
Sep
26
comment Word that means 'most common example'?
Archetypal sounds good. Alternatives might be prototypical or canonical, maybe others.
Sep
18
comment American English: collective noun + verb when collective noun is plural?
To my American eye, if the proper noun is plural, treat it as singular. If you've formed the plural of a singular proper noun, treat as plural. So I'd use (and expect) "Clinics is" if "Clinics" is part of the company name, and "Clinics are" only if you're talking about multiple companies (actual or otherwise) with that name. FWIW, I can confirm "Microsoft are", "team are", etc. look wrong to me.
Sep
16
comment Confusing 'and' in short lists
In writing this is fine, but when spoken there's still potential for confusion. Not all people pause for the same amount of time, and a pause doesn't necessarily indicate a comma's supposed to be there.
Sep
9
comment Question of Initialisms vs Acronyms
The Merriam Webster Online dictionary gives as an alternate definition of acronym: an abbreviation (as FBI) formed from initial letters : INITIALISM. So in common parlance, in the US, the distinction isn't universally recognized. For what it's worth, I was sure you had made up a word when you typed "initialism". I learned something today. In America, I'd recommend sticking with acronym for what UPS calls itself.
Apr
17
answered Do Americans leave the ordinal suffix out of dates?
Apr
3
comment Must be paid before the 8th May?
Literally, it means you're late if you pay on May 8. Whether that's what was intended depends on context we don't have.
Mar
28
comment Adjectival “Anglican” for “English”, and “Anglicanism” for “Anglomania” in AmE
@Oldcat Oh, I completely agree; my point is that a bunch of dictionaries the English language do not (necessarily) make.
Mar
28
comment Adjectival “Anglican” for “English”, and “Anglicanism” for “Anglomania” in AmE
I guess there are two schools of thought on what constitutes a language. One school of thought would hold that an academy rigorously defines and controls a language and the language is what the academy puts into a book. Another school of thought would hold that a language is defined by how people use it to communicate. Neither school is right or wrong, but they are different, and different places favor different schools. As a member of the latter school, I hesitate to call using Anglican for English wrong - if its meaning is clear in context, how can it be wrong? - but this is uncommon.