1,432 reputation
415
bio website d7.pipemaze.com
location Vancouver, Canada
age 34
visits member for 3 years, 10 months
seen Aug 16 at 0:49

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.


Aug
16
comment “have” before verb
As far as I know it's actually a different tense, but it's a tense that's dying out as it doesn't make a significant distinction. Don't have the sources to make a proper answer along those lines though.
Aug
15
comment A word for a relationship in which one thing (or state) must exist in order for another thing (or state) to exist
More likely a mix of blank stares and suppressed snickers.
Aug
12
comment I don't like potatoes or ice-cream
You certainly could, but this implies by omission that the original construction is wrong, which is worth a downvote.
Aug
2
comment What is a word to describe one's force of personality
Clout is external, vested in your established social position, not innate from your force of personality.
Jul
21
comment Word a male can use to refer to a female that is not old or young (girl/lady/woman)
@bib Aye, a lot of women I know have described visceral class-based and gender-role-based objections to lady and have expressed a lack of identification with or sense of being included by expressions that use the word to try to refer to a group of adult women.
Jul
16
comment What do you call money earned through unethical sources?
I've never heard filthy lucre used to mean ill-gotten gains. I've only ever heard it used in the sense that lucre is inherently filthy, with filthy redundantly appearing in order to allude to the saying, "money is the root of all evil." Interesting how connotations change or get lost.
Jul
7
comment Why is this a fragment?
+1 for also explaining how it's a perfectly fine stylistic choice, even if it's not formally grammatical.
Jul
5
comment Standard English proverb for “When you see a useful resource, you feel lazy to work.”
@Mitch Agree it should be clarified. FWIW, my reading is something like "Nice car! Oh, uh, I suddenly have a cramp, can I get a ride?"
Jul
5
comment Does an antonym of ''freezing'' as a descriptor of weather exist?
@SteveJessop Melting is only the opposite of freezing when used to describe that process. Used as an adjective applied to perceived temperature, melting isn't the opposite. Consider: when you warm up after saying "I'm freezing", it is incorrect to say "I'm melting". It's fine to say "I'm thawing", but only metaphorically because you aren't literally thawing. (Excepting frostbite but that's not relevant to the colloquialism.) Also consider: freezing temperatures means temperatures that can freeze water, not that the temperature itself is undergoing phase-change to a "solid temperature".
Jun
13
revised When do I pronounce a non-existing “r” between adjacent vowel sounds?
remove rant
Jun
13
suggested suggested edit on When do I pronounce a non-existing “r” between adjacent vowel sounds?
May
26
comment What do you call the artwork you first see upon entering a place
That's relative to the room though, not the entire building or campus. E.g., you wouldn't actually say "The Fénykövi Elephant is the centerpiece of the Museum of Natural History," because it's not.
May
23
comment What is the equivalent word for “flight” when riding a boat instead?
As someone who lives in English-speaking ferry-boat country, "sailing" is the noun with overwhelming currency.
Apr
22
comment What's it called when you lose contact with reality when watching a movie?
Suspension of disbelief has been identified as one of the prerequisites for becoming immersed in the reality of the medium; it is not the state of immersion itself.
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.