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Dec
24
comment what is a “Tragic missed opportunity”?
That should be, "Had the Tsar pulled this off ..." Only one "had", not two. I don't know if that error is in the original or if the poster made a mistake copying it.
Dec
24
answered what is a “Tragic missed opportunity”?
Dec
24
answered Is the semicolon used properly?
Dec
24
answered N.B. (Nota Bene) vs P.S. (Post Script)
Dec
15
comment What is the meaning of “did time”?
@deadrat Agreed, though the "heart" part is puzzling. If he was speaking of literally being imprisoned in Siberia, he'd simply say, "I did time in Siberia." References to the heart usually refer to love and romance. Maybe saying his/her lover has captured his heart like a prisoner in Siberia? Weird analogy, but possible. As you say, we'd need more context to make sense of this.
Dec
14
comment What is less harsh than “brainwashing”?
@sgroves Well, I've consulted several dictionaries, and I don't see any that give a definition of "institutionalize" that sounds anything like brainwashing or convincing a person of anything. Nor do I recall ever having heard the word used with such a meaning. If you can quote a dictionary giving such a definition, or give some other reference, I'm happy to hear it. As with many words, it's certainly possible that some profession or region uses the word with a different definition than others. (If no one gives new information on this, I'll consider that we've both said our piece and drop it.)
Dec
10
comment What is less harsh than “brainwashing”?
... "We are trying to institutionalize people into our beliefs". When the word is used with that definition, it's the idea that is institutionalized, not the people.
Dec
10
comment What is less harsh than “brainwashing”?
@danielf The definition you quote brings to mind another usage that perhaps is what Ottodidakt was thinking of: People sometimes say, "We are trying to institutionalize this process", meaning, "we are trying to make this process become an established institution. I've always heard that used to discuss a business process or something of the sort, like, "We are trying to institutionalize cost-benefit analysis." Perhaps some use it for more ideological things, like "We are trying to institutionalize racial tolerance". I don't recall hearing that, but I can comprehend it. But I've never heard ...
Dec
10
comment What is less harsh than “brainwashing”?
@talmu "The soldier was institutionalized in the army", meaning "got so used to the army he couldn't function outside"? I don't recall ever having heard the word used that way, and I don't see that in any dictionary. Of course I can't say that no person or group uses it that way, but if so, I'd think that must be some specialized or regional usage.
Dec
9
answered What is less harsh than “brainwashing”?
Dec
9
comment What is less harsh than “brainwashing”?
"Institutionalized" is normally used to mean that someone has been forcibly confined to some sort of "institution", usually a mental hospital or a prison. They may indeed be "brainwashed" in some sense there, but I've never heard the word used to describe any sort of "brainwashing" outside of such an institution. Specifically, I've never heard someone say, "The X Church" or "The Y Political Party" or whomever "is trying to institutionalize everyone to their beliefs".
Dec
2
comment Is “now” a “preposition”?
@araucaria Hmm, by that reasoning, "tall" is not an adjective, because phrases like "tall sleep" and "tall electricity" don't make sense, so therefore "tall" does not modify nouns. I don't get your point on the dishwasher example. Consider "Put your plate in the dishwasher carefully." The exact same issue. Is "carefully" not an adverb?
Dec
2
comment When is it appropriate to end a sentence in a preposition?
@SkJohnson True that "go with" has an idiomatic meaning. But "go" is still a verb and "with" is still a preposition, and the preposition still requires an object. You wouldn't say, "I want to go with", period. The listener would naturally ask, "Go with whom?" Or "Peanut butter goes with." Goes with what?
Dec
2
comment Is “now” a “preposition”?
@Araucaria Yes, adverbs can modify things other than verbs, but that's not the point here. I don't see how you say that "now" can't modify a verb. "Sit down now." "I will try now." Etc. How would "now is an adverb" rule out "right now"? "I will try right now." By the elementary rules, "try" is a verb, "now" is an adverb modifying "try", and "right" is an adverb modifying "now". Clearly "right" is modifying "now": Not just a general "now", but "right now".
Dec
2
comment Is “now” a “preposition”?
@Araucaria Oops, I was thinking we were on ELL -- got here from a link on ELL. I concede that point.
Dec
2
comment Is there a male counterpart to being a virgin?
@floris True. Clumsy of me. Technically one should say "CATHOLICS believe that Mary was born without original sin." Protestants do not. But further discussion on this gets into theology rather than grammar.
Dec
2
comment Is “now” a “preposition”?
(b) "Now" meets the most elementary definition of an adverb: It modifies a verb. If you want to get into some complex linguistic debate, I just don't see how that would help English Language Learners. We're not talking about sophisticated, complex cases here. We're talking about the elementary rules for people trying to learn the language.
Dec
2
comment Is “now” a “preposition”?
... If your position is, "I believe X is true. Any source that says X isn't true I refuse to acknowledge as authoritative", then of course it's impossible to prove you wrong.
Dec
2
comment Is “now” a “preposition”?
@Araucaria Evidence that "now" is an adverb? (a) Every dictionary I checked says its an adverb. No dictionary I checked calls it a preposition. You say you reject dictionaries as a source for parts of speech. Well, hmm. I'd certainly agree that a simple classification like you'll find in a dictionary might be inadequate for tricky or specialized cases. But most people accept them for routine cases, which is what we're talking about here. ...
Dec
1
answered Is “now” a “preposition”?