103,338 reputation
8120219
bio website caxton1485.wordpress.com
location United Kingdom
age 71
visits member for 2 years, 7 months
seen 9 hours ago

I have spent most of my career in government service, much of it abroad. I have a degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Oxford and the Diploma in English Language Studies from the UK's Open University, and am qualified as a teacher of English to foreign learners. I have studied several other languages including French, German, Latin, Arabic and Old and Middle English.

My blog, Caxton, is mostly, but not entirely, about the English language.

Elsewhere on the web I have attempted to write in the constrained style of the 'Ouvroir de littérature potentielle' (OULIPO) in Variations on an Incident in Paris and in Variations on Jane Austen. I have also created a full set of 256 Syllogisms by figure and mood and showing which are valid and which are not.


Apr
17
answered Merry Easter to all of you!
Apr
16
answered “It was turning out the dining-room done it.”
Apr
12
comment Here's — Plurality Question
Pam Peters in ‘The Cambridge Guide to English Usage’ (2004) probably got there before him: ‘These various uses of there’s with plural (or notionally plural) noun phrases show how the structure is working its way into the standard. It seems to be evolving into a fixed phrase, rather like the French C’est . . . , serving the needs of the ongoing discourse rather than the grammar of the sentence.’
Apr
11
comment A more formal word for “tech-savvy”, relating to IT technologists in particular
@IQAndreas. I agree.
Apr
10
answered what's the meaning of “It is not without interest that”?
Apr
8
awarded  Enlightened
Apr
8
awarded  Nice Answer
Apr
5
awarded  Nice Answer
Apr
5
answered “Must be” with a meaning like “must do”
Apr
3
comment What is the accepted stance on using “they” in a singular form?
@ivanhoescott. I know. I've written about it here: caxton1485.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/…
Apr
1
comment Is it ok to use 'before' at the end of a sentence?
@medica. You might like to try this: ucl.ac.uk/internet-grammar/home.htm
Apr
1
answered Is it ok to use 'before' at the end of a sentence?
Mar
30
answered What does 'had been long settled' mean?
Mar
25
comment What is this construction?
You asked about the construction, not the meaning, but the meaning is I don't know for sure, but my conclusion from all the available evidence is that it was a good idea.
Mar
25
comment What is this construction?
Why? The the sentence can be exapanded as I can't tell, but I conclude that it was a good idea. (And please don't use the term 'grammar Nazi'.)
Mar
25
answered What is this construction?
Mar
18
comment What is the English word for “street along a river bank”?
+1. I was going to suggest 'strand' myself.
Mar
14
comment “Hungry” is to “full” as “thirsty” is to what adjective?
As thirsty is to pissed.
Mar
14
answered Do I refer to the previous month or to the last month
Mar
14
answered Is this sentence grammatically correct? Explain me please