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Sep
15
comment When did “ain't” become slang?
@tchrist: "Slang", like many terms, has multiple senses. I'm sorry that this bothers you so much; you have my pity. (But, only a little bit. I'd feel more sympathy if you had at least bothered to edit the question to conform to your terminological preferences, rather than merely posting comments assailing the intelligence of anyone who does not share them.)
Sep
15
comment When did “ain't” become slang?
@tchrist: Well, most self-described linguists are descriptivists, who hopefully (and frequently) have better sense than to describe lay usages as "foggy-headed" and "floozy talk" . . .
Sep
15
comment When did “ain't” become slang?
@tchrist: If "NNS" means "non-native speaker", then I don't think it's a native vs. non-native thing, but rather a linguist vs. non-linguist thing. I could be wrong, but I suspect that most native speakers would accept a statement that ain't is "slang".
Sep
15
comment When did “ain't” become slang?
@ErikKowal: I've read that aren't and ain't are actually etymological doublets, both being variants of an't, with the <r> originally being strictly orthographic in non-rhotic dialects. (I'm not sure how much to credit that explanation, though, seeing as aren't is currently found with a real R sound in various rhotic dialects.)
Sep
15
comment When did “ain't” become slang?
@RegDwigнt: It's the opposite of that on most counts, but I think it satisfies the "very informal usage" part, and that is presumably what the OP means by it . . .
Sep
13
comment Word for a software bug that occurs again after having fixed it?
@WalterMitty: Syntactically it is "recurring {bug fix}" (with recurring modifying bug fix, rather than recurring bug modifying fix), but semantically the ambiguity is not that great anyway, since a bug fix can only recur if the bug did, and a bug cannot really "recur", per se, if it isn't fixed in between. Almost the only real difference is that *"{recurring bug} fix" might not imply that the same fix was used each time the bug recurred.
Sep
1
comment Like misdirection, is there any word for misdepiction?
The phrase "spice up historical epics to belittle them to the point of titillation" does not make much sense to me. Do you mean something like "'spice up' historical epics, in attempt to make them titillating, but thereby losing what makes them great"?
Aug
31
comment Derogatory word or term for a peasant/lower class
@WS2: That would be amazingly snobbish and ridiculous, yes, but insulting?
Aug
18
comment “For all it's worth” or “for all its worth”?
@Adeptus: Hmm. Maybe "all the value in it"?
Aug
16
comment Opposite of “to my credit”?
@FumbleFingers: My point is that "to my shame" is emotional in a way that "to my credit" is not. I brought up the "his" in order to make this obvious. (But I like your idea that, in describing an emotion, it's "splitting hairs" to care about who's having the emotion. "Why are you still mad at me? I already said someone was sorry!")
Aug
16
comment “For all it's worth” or “for all its worth”?
@Kris: Right. I just didn't think that could be what you were referring to, since your graph shows that this idiom originated much later. (Your wording makes it sound like the arrival of the possessive apostrophe caused the idiom to become confusing in some way.)
Aug
16
comment Opposite of “to my credit”?
@FumbleFingers: I disagree. To see this better, compare "to his credit" vs. "to his shame": "to his credit" means that I, the speaker, feel positively about what he did, whereas "to his shame" means that he feels ashamed of what he did.
Aug
15
comment “For all it's worth” or “for all its worth”?
Re: "The arrival of the apostrophe as possessive indicator": Are you referring to the (mis)use of it's to mean its? Or are you referring to the Early Modern adoption of -'s for the possessive clitic? Or something else?
Aug
15
comment “For all it's worth” or “for all its worth”?
@Adeptus: I don't think "the worth belonging to it" is an idiomatic way to paraphrase "its worth"; this isn't the "belonging to" sense of the possessive. To distinguish the noun sense of worth, how about "for all of its worth" or "for all its value"?
Jul
20
comment “Karma is a bitch”
@tchrist: (Disclaimer: I find your comment rather opaque, but will do my best.) I don't think the sentence "Karma's a bitch" is at all "inappropriate for respectful discourse". It's slang, but not offensive. (Multiple dictionaries agree on that.) If you think that that makes me an unreasonable person, then so be it.
Jul
20
comment Thrice or triple?
It's true that "I have seen you triple today" doesn't work, but there are some subtleties. Consider Seinfeld's "Did you just double-dip that chip?" [link]
Jul
20
comment “Karma is a bitch”
@tchrist: There are lots of things that an adult will not accept from a ten-year-old: "shut up", "go away", "penis", "vagina". This certainly does not "tell you all you need to know". The rules of communication between adults are different. (That's not to say that it's completely unrelated. But it's not enough.)
Jul
20
comment What is the difference between a 'rocket' and a 'missile'
+1. Nowadays, "missile" in a military context usually implies "guided missile" unless otherwise specified. (One would specify otherwise by saying, for example, "ballistic missile".)
Jul
20
comment What is the difference between a 'rocket' and a 'missile'
@placeholder: It is, and it isn't. The technical definition of jet engine certainly does include rocket engines; but the everyday understanding of the term does not.
Jul
20
answered “So” as a conjunction