Reputation
25,365
Next tag badge:
98/100 score
31/20 answers
Badges
1 28 70
Newest
 Nice Answer
Impact
~2.9m people reached

Aug
17
awarded  Nice Answer
Aug
17
comment Disagreement between subject and verb
I don't see how the referenced question is the same. That question asks, "Is this an error?" This question asks, "Is it acceptable to have this category of error?" That's not the same thing at all.
Aug
17
comment Are contractions worth all the trouble?
The point I was trying to make is that the rules aren't very complicated -- they can be summed up in a couple of sentences. Therefore, there is not a lot of effort involved. Therefore, it doesn't take much benefit for it to be "worth the effort".
Aug
17
answered 99% of people would do x
Aug
4
awarded  Nice Answer
Aug
4
comment Can “rentee” be used to refer to one who rents an item?
@ruakh Interesting point. Yes, the meaning does appear to be slightly different there.
Aug
3
comment Can “rentee” be used to refer to one who rents an item?
@choster True that "renter" is ambiguous in the way you describe. Perhaps if you think of it in a certain way, renter/rentee makes sense. But the problem is that most people DON'T think of it that way in this case, and so most people would be confused by it. In some contexts you could say, "this is how I will use these words" and people would get it. Personally I think it's better to just use different words to avoid confusion.
Aug
3
comment Meaning of a henry ford quote
@mplungjan The wording just struck me as odd. If that was the intent, it seems funny to use the word "brain", which implies reason and thought. If I wanted to say that, I would have used "loud mouth" or "big mouth", which would be understood to imply argument. In other contexts Ford praised creativity and inventiveness. On the other hand I understand that he ran the company pretty autocratically.From a one sentence quote, one can only speculate. That's the problem I often have with quotes with no context.
Aug
3
answered What's the meaning of 'sorry lot' in Albert Einstein's quote?
Aug
3
comment Meaning of a henry ford quote
Hmm, I can find this quote on various quote sites, but there's no context. Was Ford complaining that he wants mindless automata, or was he saying that this is a good thing? Without the context it's hard to say. Anybody have a source with the broader context?
Aug
3
answered Can “rentee” be used to refer to one who rents an item?
Jul
31
comment Proper term for people from eastern Asia
Yes, if someone told me that "Asian people do X", I'd take that to mean not just Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans but also Kazakhs, Siberians, Indians, etc. I'd be quite surprised if someone said "Asian" and it became clear that he was NOT including Kazakhs et al. To my mind, whether it would include the Middle East could be debatable. That would be like someone saying "European" and it turning out that he meant just France, Spain, and Portugal, and not Germany, Poland, Greece, etc.
Jul
30
awarded  grammatical-number
Jul
28
comment To tell the name of a person I met in the past
@jasper What if John is a bum who often doesn't change his clothes for weeks at a time? What if instead of saying "last week" I said "yesterday" or "this morning"? And why do you distinguish "still" from "again"? Either way he "is wearing a blue shirt".
Jul
28
comment To tell the name of a person I met in the past
@jasper Suppose I said, "I met John last week. He was wearing a blue shirt." The fact that I say "was" doesn't mean that I know that he is not wearing a blue shirt today. Maybe he has ten blue shirts. Maybe he hasn't changed in a week and is still wearing the same blue shirt. I use the past tense because I am trying to say that that is what was true at the time. I may know that it is no longer true, or I may not know if it is still true or not. The context may indicate that I know it is no longer true, but that's not inherent in the use of the past tense.
Jul
28
comment To tell the name of a person I met in the past
I'd add, When we refer to people who are dead, we normally use the past tense. Like, "My brother died last year. His name was John". I probably wouldn't say "His name is John", unless I was making a point about belief in an immortal soul. If I'm talking about someone I met in the past, not only do I not know if he's changed his name, but I don't know if he's alive or dead. All I know is what was true at the time I last saw him. So I tend to say "was".
Jul
28
comment To tell the name of a person I met in the past
@DavidRicherby Hmm, but surely much of what we say about language relates to matching our words to the real world. If I knew for a fact that he had changed his name, than surely I would say, "His name WAS Bruce", not "His name IS Bruce".
Jul
14
comment Morally speaking, 1+1=2
... term for the Hebrew Bible, and laughed along with the joke. My point being: some jokes and metaphors are all in good fun and we can all laugh along. Others indicate preconceptions or judgments. Compare to ethnic humor. I wouldn't say that anyone who begins a joke with "A black man walked into a bar ..." is a racist. But after hearing the end of the joke, I might conclude that.
Jul
14
comment Morally speaking, 1+1=2
As one of those adamant Fundamentalists, I have no problem with people using theological metaphors to describe non-theological subjects. But HOW they use them can say something about their underlying philosophy. e.g. I've often heard people say, "oh, don't turn this technical debate into a religious argument", by which it is clear they mean "irrational and emotional". The clear implication is that they think religious discussion is inherently irrational. On the other hand, when I saw a book on economics titled "The Law and the Profits", I saw the pun on "the Law and the Prophets", a ...
Jul
14
answered In science writing, what to call the body in relation to the brain?