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Jul
16
comment Is “Why to… …” grammatical?
@JanusBahsJacquet: To me, “Why use X?” is a question and requires a question mark, unlike “Why to use X”. “Tell me why to care” sounds perfectly fine to me, for example; without to, it would be “Tell me: why care?”
Jul
14
awarded  Notable Question
Jul
3
awarded  Notable Question
Jul
2
awarded  Enlightened
Jul
2
awarded  Nice Answer
Jun
19
comment Why “enough for to fill” instead of “enough to fill” in this sentence?
This may have been due to influence from French, in which you say for example Je me suis arreté pour prendre des photos, “I stopped (for) to take some photos”. Here “for to” means essentially “in order to”.
May
20
comment What does 'Hitlerian' mean, extract from Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita
1955 is 10 years after Adolf Hitler’s death, so it certainly can be a reference to him!
May
20
accepted Name for balls of dirt made by rubbing hands
May
20
comment Does “moot” only apply to points?
These people probably think of moot point as a stormy petrel. It is valid to use moot to describe other things, but few people do.
May
20
comment What is the English version of the Vietnamese idiom “như cá nằm trên thớt” - “like a fish on cutting board”
I have only heard the first as (like a) lamb to the slaughter. That seems to be the most common phrasing, but others are widely used—some with lambs instead of a lamb, some with led, some without the.
May
20
comment Where did the DO NOT come from?
The passage in question: “Did I open?” = “Nes i agor?” / “I did not open.” = “Nes i ddim agor.” / “I opened.” = “Nes i agor.” The last example is used non-emphatically as late as Elizabethan English: “I did open the door for thee.”
May
20
comment Where did the DO NOT come from?
@Mitch: Welsh is one of the few languages that uses do in this way, along with Cornish. As far as I know, do-support (as it’s called) wasn’t present in English until the 1100s at the earliest. It stands to reason that English picked it up from contact with those neighbouring languages. I first learned of this from Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue by John McWhorter.
May
7
awarded  Nice Answer
May
6
answered An antonym for “shortcut”
May
6
comment Meaning and etymology of the word “latty”
@EdwinAshworth: We accept questions about dialects and slang all the time. Even if it’s a minority use, it’s still English.
May
1
awarded  Good Answer
Apr
26
comment “Wrote it I did” Is this grammatical?
I can find examples of structures like “(I was) right chuffed/pissed I was”, but this seems to be restricted to certain dialects, such as South London or the East End, so make of it what you will.
Apr
25
comment “Wrote it I did” Is this grammatical?
I misunderstood you. I agree with your correction of example #1, but while your correction for #2 is valid, it is not necessary.
Apr
25
comment 'Male'/'female' is to 'gender' as 'left-handed'/'right-handed 'is to…?
Handedness is the right word, and I think it doesn’t sound bad at all. It’s often used in a technical sense, as in the handedness of a coordinate system.
Apr
25
answered “I, (any name), am here to… ” is this correct?