106,824 reputation
8140245
bio website caxton1485.wordpress.com
location United Kingdom
age 72
visits member for 3 years, 2 months
seen yesterday

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.


Mar
11
awarded  Nice Answer
Mar
10
answered ___, ___, and I am/are…
Mar
10
answered “Will be gone” vs “Will have gone”
Mar
10
comment Sentence with Present Perfect
But it would be found in a sentence that continued as The summer has been over for several weeks now.
Mar
10
answered Why “top” hat? Is there a “bottom” or a “side” hat?
Mar
9
comment Syntax for “doesn't do this thing” but “will”
Then you need to ask yourself whether a comma would help the reader in any way. I can't see that it would. That doesn't set itself automatically is a defining relative clause, and defining relative clauses are not set off by commas.
Mar
9
comment Syntax for “doesn't do this thing” but “will”
What, exactly, is your concern? (And why Car with an initial capital?)
Mar
9
comment Is 'my wife and I' correct English?
Where do you think the rules of grammar come from?
Mar
9
comment Is 'my wife and I' correct English?
He was not the sole author of CGEL. It is a variant nonetheless, however you care to explain it. The reason ‘Please have dinner with I and my wife’ is not found (if that is the case), I suggest, is that in a context such as a dinner invitation it would be normal, because courteous, for the speaker to place the first person pronoun, in whatever form, after any reference to anyone else.
Mar
9
answered Is 'my wife and I' correct English?
Mar
6
comment Why does the word 'calculative' not exist in the Oxford dictionary?
I don't know. I would have expected are.
Mar
6
answered Why does the word 'calculative' not exist in the Oxford dictionary?
Mar
5
comment Why is “bloody” considered obscene in the UK but not in the US?
The OED’s etymological note ends with ‘In many cases in the late 16th and early 17th centuries . . . it is unclear whether “bloody” refers to real blood, bloodshed, or bloodthirstiness, or is an intensifier. It seems likely that the intensifying uses of “bloody” arose from semantic bleaching in formations of this type. Compare, with similar semantic development, Middle French “sanglant” covered with blood (c1100 in Old French), hateful, despicable, (as an extreme intensifier and pejorative) accursed, damned (both mid 14th cent.; also 15th cent. in various imprecatory formulae).’
Mar
5
comment Why is “bloody” considered obscene in the UK but not in the US?
The latest revision is March 2012, which postdates my answer. The etymology now begins ‘The origin of the intensifying use of the adjective and adverb is uncertain and disputed.’ But it rejects the idea that the usage ‘derives from oaths referring to the blood of Christ’ and that it ‘shows either a reduced form of, or a euphemistic alteration of, “byrlady”.’ The argument in both cases is that ‘none of these interjections is recorded in intensive use themselves, and secondly that a functional shift from interjection to intensifier would be highly unusual.’
Mar
3
comment Is “legit” a legitimate word?
Probably, just like natural, final and monthly.
Mar
3
comment Is there any word for the person who is running the business of “Prostitution”?
The OED's fifth definition of madam is 'a female brothel-keeper'. It has been so used since the late nineteenth century.
Mar
3
answered Is there any word for the person who is running the business of “Prostitution”?
Mar
2
revised Plural subject - singular object
deleted 1 characters in body
Mar
2
answered Plural subject - singular object
Mar
1
answered Origin and Impact of “Blown” Meaning “Bloom”