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Oct
17
comment Is “will be going to” correct?
@Jim: That link is not really useful, since that includes many, many irrelevant occurrences of "will be going to". In fact, looking through the Google Book Search results, I find almost none that are relevant (in the sense of "people actually using the phrase 'will be going to', with the appropriate sense of 'going to'").
Oct
13
answered “From lines 10 to 15” or “from line 10 to line 15”?
Oct
13
comment Does seriously have only sarcastic connotations in this context?
I agree with your first three paragraphs, but not really the fourth. You seem to be saying that something is more likely to be interpreted as sarcasm if sarcasm would not be justified than if sarcasm would be justified; but I think that the reverse is true. Sarcasm is more likely to be recognized in situations where sarcasm would make sense.
Oct
3
comment Why do we write “Fourier's law” but “Soret effect”?
Note that this is not specific to laws/effects named for people; laws are generally either "X's law" or "the law of foo" (or "X's law of foo"), whereas effects are generally either "the X effect" or "the foo effect" (or "the X foo effect").
Sep
30
comment Is “pass peach seeds” an idiom or just a figurative expression?
+1. Re: "Here, the verb 'to pass' is a euphemism for 'to expel from the anus'": Or something a bit more general. The same sense of pass is also found in to pass water, meaning "to urinate".
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.