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Sep
25
awarded  Nice Answer
Sep
24
comment Equivalent word for 'overseas' for a non-island country?
Side note: In the U.S. we would say "vacation" and not "holiday". A holiday here is a day for some specific celebration or commemoration, like Christmas or Independence Day, and is always a single day. When you take time off work and go somewhere for fun, that's a "vacation". As I understand it, in the U.K. they call that "going on holiday", in the U.S. it's "going on vacation".
Sep
24
comment Equivalent word for 'overseas' for a non-island country?
I suppose if I heard someone say "I'm going on an international vacation", I probably wouldn't question it, but it's not something I recall hearing anyone say. Just BTW, in the U.S. we would say "vacation", not "holiday".
Sep
23
comment Equivalent word for 'overseas' for a non-island country?
@choster Yes, "foreign" CAN simply mean "different", as in, "The atmosphere at my mother-in-law's house is totally foreign to me", meaning, very different from how I live. But if we talk about a "foreign city", we almost always mean a city in another country. I have never heard someone from New York call Los Angeles a "foreign city", except as a joke. Likewise a "foreign automobile" means one built in another country, not another state, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.
Sep
23
answered Equivalent word for 'overseas' for a non-island country?
Sep
23
comment When do you use middle and when center?
@MartinSmith Yeah, but I strongly suspect they did that just because they didn't want to use the same name for both.
Sep
22
comment What is the meaning of the expression 'put in leave'?
In the U.S. we often say "put in for leave" meaning to request vacation time from one's job. I don't know whether in South Africa the idiom is "put in leave" or whether that's a typo to drop the "for".
Sep
22
answered When do you use middle and when center?
Sep
19
awarded  Yearling
Sep
16
comment “Measure” vs. “measurement”
Maybe I need to back up a step and clarify what you're asking. If I measure my height and then I measure my weight, I have taken 2 measurements. Are you asking if that is properly said "height and weight are 2 measurements" versus "height and weight are a measurement"? If there are 2 of them, it seems to me that's obviously a plural, but maybe I'm missing your point.
Sep
15
comment “Measure” vs. “measurement”
@RogerWernersson Yes.
Sep
12
awarded  Necromancer
Sep
12
comment Can the verb “wonder” simply take an object?
@EdwinAshworth Hmm, I only find 8 hits in Bing on "I wonder he didn't". One is an ad where they fill in your search term, so that doesn't count. (I once was doing some research on the history of slavery and typed in "black slaves". I got back a hit from a certain shopping website with the title "Best prices on black slaves!") Two of them are quotes from Charles Dickens, fitting the idea of obsolete usage. Two are translations from Japanese, which I would not expect to be good English grammar. And the other three are "I wonder if he didn't ..." which is what I would expect in modern English.
Sep
11
comment Can the verb “wonder” simply take an object?
@EdwinAshworth I think that's one of the "obsolete constructions" Barrie was referring to. You see that in old books but not so much today.
Sep
11
awarded  Necromancer
Sep
8
comment Why can we say 'an American' but not 'a British'?
@EricLloyd I agree that "Chinaman" is archaic, and that some view it as pejorative. Exactly why is hard to say. The Irish were discriminated against at one time too, and no one says that "Irish" is pejorative. Nor is "Chinese" considered pejorative. Exactly what makes one word derogatory and another complimentary is not at all clear to me. But whatever, not the main point here.
Sep
5
comment Is the construction “maker of all universe” grammatical in any English dialect?
@kris I did an ngram search and went through some of these references. Most of these are not really the phrase "all universe" but there's some other punctuation in there, like "it is part of the all, universe". A couple had "stars in the (something something parenthesis ALL) universe". A few mentioned an "All-Universe Competition". There were several that had numerous grammar problems of which "all universe" was just one. There do appear to be some Indian metaphysical books that talk about "all universe", so perhaps this is an accepted usage in Indian English.
Sep
5
comment Is the construction “maker of all universe” grammatical in any English dialect?
Not related to the original question, but this brings up the thought: If your child asks why he should study grammar, one answer is: So you can recognize spam emails. If you get an email that claims to be from a big company or the government, and it contains multiple grammar errors, it is almost surely fake. Every now and then a big organization will send out an email that has a grammar error, but very rarely more than one.
Sep
5
comment Why can we say 'an American' but not 'a British'?
@grimxn Yeah, that's my point. At least for the Scottish question, we have a general word: "British". For the Netherlands, to the best of my knowledge, we don't, and so we use Dutch for all of them. BTW reminds me of a World War 2 movie I saw years ago, where a representative from the military is sent to tell a family that their son has been killed in action. He tries to console them by saying, "He died fighting for England." And the father replies harshly, "He was Scottish." Leaving the army guy stammering.
Sep
5
comment Why can we say 'an American' but not 'a British'?
@grimxn Yes, I've heard that too, didn't go into it as it was a side note on the main subject. I think 99.9% of Americans would call anyone from the Netherlands "Dutch", and to the best of my knowledge we have no more general term. Happy to hear if anyone has more information on this.