1,404 reputation
415
bio website d7.pipemaze.com
location Vancouver, Canada
age 33
visits member for 3 years, 6 months
seen Apr 11 at 21:06

Canadian, native English speaker, background in academic linguistics, lifelong reader, and language enthusiast.

In the prescriptive versus descriptive grammar debate, I'm mostly descriptivist but with an appreciation for the prescriptivist idea that something being "popular" usage doesn't mean it's correct.


Feb
1
comment Term describing the practice of anticipating dangers while driving
I've never heard this term; meanwhile, I know that "defensive driving" has tonnes of linguistic currency.
Jan
29
comment Is there a non-sexual phrase for sleeping with someone?
Nobody seems to have tackled the "why this connotation" part of the question. With the accepted and top-voted answer, you might consider an edit explaining the process of pejoration, whereby an innocent phrase that is used as a euphemism eventually loses its ability to be used for its original innocent meaning.
Jan
23
comment What do you call unclean water that you can't see through?
@starsplusplus It's often in the context of a open-reservoir municipal water-treatment system after a storm when the filters are overwhelmed. Extra chemical treatment can render the remaining fine particles of runoff and lake bottom sterile, but unappetising-looking. The measure of visible particulate is called "turbidity", but is a measure that's independent of potability.
Jan
23
comment What do you call unclean water that you can't see through?
"Turbid" doesn't mean unclean. It can be (and often is) used to indicate water that is clouded by inert or neutralised matter that is safe for drinking.
Jan
23
comment What do you call unclean water that you can't see through?
"Turbid" is a word that gets more use in technical circumstances, like geo- and environmental science. It means having stuff stirred up in it. See also "turbidity", and important water-quality metric. (Yes, it's not fitting for the OP's use.)
Dec
30
comment Idiom or word for a very crowded place
@terdon Good to know, since I haven't done any formal studies on its spread. ;) I suspect it's like swapping plural and singular nouns in some constructions: syntactically incorrect, acceptable in some (informal) contexts, but possibly not to all native ears.
Dec
30
comment Idiom or word for a very crowded place
Same etymological origin as "replete". I like it.
Dec
30
comment Idiom or word for a very crowded place
@terdon You can, idiomatically, modify the idiom by saying "it's packed like sardines" instead of "we're packed like sardines." The "it" does syntactically refer to the bus still, but the natural drift of language makes it sound correct to a native ear.
Dec
16
comment Is there a name for “near the opposite side of the earth”?
Wiktionary notes that "antipodes" is is a plural-only word, like "scissors" or "pants".
Oct
7
awarded  Yearling
Oct
8
awarded  Yearling
Sep
12
comment How common is the misuse of “literally” to mean “figuratively”?
Literally all the time.
Sep
12
comment Is “auditory aid” correct when talking about helping someone through audio signals?
Do traffic lights typically emit such signals? For the motorists? I know that hardware differs drastically around the world, but my experience is that only pedestrian signals emit such audio cues.
Sep
12
comment Word for someone that pays more for the same thing?
"Prestige buyer" might be a better fit here than "price insensitive", since it sounds like the asker is saying they're actually buying it for the price tag. +1
Sep
12
revised What is the origin of the term “ginger” for red-headed people?
historical connection, better image, Hawai'i isn't relevant
Sep
12
comment Is “project in hand” correct?
I'm Canadian so I'm unfamiliar with UK usage and that sounds strange to my ear, so I'll defer to Gigili's answer below. :)
Sep
12
answered Word for someone that pays more for the same thing?
Sep
12
comment Is “project in hand” correct?
"the project at hand" is probably the idiom that you want.
Sep
12
answered What is the origin of the term “ginger” for red-headed people?
Sep
12
comment Why haven't we used “it” instead of “he or she”?
Yeah, that's why I said "re-emerging". It used to be the frontrunner before Victorian grammarians needed to invent a new "correct" grammar to distinguish the upper class. It's not an important point. :)