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Jul
3
comment Phrases you can say to people who are ashamed to eat at your house?
I'm wondering what's wrong with make yourself at home. Seems like a perfectly reasonable suggestion.
Jul
3
comment Can “fainted” and “lost consciousness” be interchanged?
Is this in a medical report, or in a narrative at the corner bar?
Jul
3
comment Polite, non-profane equivalent to ‘kick a**’
(That said, I completely agree with your advice to steer clear of "birch" and "spank". I think "thrash" seems okay, but I wouldn't use "chastise" in this context, either.)
Jul
3
comment Polite, non-profane equivalent to ‘kick a**’
@j_random_hacker - If you were a sports fan in the U.S., you'd hear this verb often. I found a quite a few samples in a Google search: John Madden's 1976 Oakland Raiders drubbed the Minnesota Vikings 32-14 in Super Bowl XI to complete a 16-1 season; the Red Sox drubbed the White Sox 10-2 before one of Fenway's largest crowds of the year; The St. Louis Blues clinched a playoff spot Thursday when they drubbed the Calgary Flames; Old Dominion drubbed the Cavaliers at Davenport Field to the tune of a 14-5 blowout; the Seattle Seahawks drubbed the Denver Broncos, 43-8.
Jul
1
comment How to say this properly?
"The tree is what I am looking at." No, not formal enough. Why not?
Jun
30
comment Non-technical word or phrase to describe a data “query”
@Kristina - Maybe I've been in IT too long. I didn't think request was too technical, but we often become inured to how confusing these terms can be. (As a side note, one reason I offered this answer was because I thought parameters sounded too technical – funny how that works sometimes!)
Jun
30
comment Is there a word for someone who tends to find faults in others?
@Josh - I was about to mention the same thing :^) Many dictionaries list the adjective fault-finding and the noun fault-finder.
Jun
27
comment Do fish smell or taste blood in water?
This may be true from a zoology perspective, but, from a language perspective, we could use smell to mean "sense" even if sharks had no nostrils. Fortunately, English is colorful enough to allow us to smell odorless things: You smell a rat, I smell something fishy, she smells something wrong with the data. In other words: "Is smelling as a verb strictly connected with air?" No, it's not – not when it's used figuratively.
Jun
27
comment SWF Seeks Strong Single-word Synonym
@TusharRaj - Yes, that's my opinion, too. It's a stretch. I get that. Nonetheless, the fact that one word could be used to replace play in two different contexts (to play a fiddle, to pass time aimlessly) was too irresistible to not mention. Had the O.P.'s #3 sentence said, "She was playing the xylophone," I would have never suggested or even mentioned fiddle. My intro was designed to be clever and humorous; my "real" answers to this question are off the bench and live. I thought this bunch of dedicated linguists and English enthusiasts would appreciate the pun. Maybe not.
Jun
27
comment “I consider that …” in place of “I think that…”
I think this might be a duplicate of this question, although I think this question is written much better than that one.
Jun
27
comment SWF Seeks Strong Single-word Synonym
@JanusBahsJacquet - Of course! But, given the playful nature of this question, I thought it was worth sharing a playful stab at a synonym – particularly a single word that could fit into both sentences. (In other words, try reading my answer in the same tone of question – I was trying to be "game".) As for the naughtiness of it, it needn't sound naughty, if we provide a bit more context: He was fiddling in his room, tinkering with the radio. Sounds harmless enough to me.
Jun
27
comment What's the difference between “case by case” and “case to case”?
I wonder if it might be generational, much like by accident vs on accident seems to be.
Jun
26
comment An epic word for a small wooded area
How about: "Kidney Isle"
Jun
24
comment Why there is difference in pronunciation of words PUT and CUT?
@sumelic - I would think a question like this should at least explain a little bit about why it asks about these two words, and not, say, shoe and hoe, or how and show, or blood and food, or have and save, or glove and clove, or bead and bread, or rouse and house, or hearth and earth, or doll and roll. (Or, it could ask the more general question.) Moreover, hovering over the downvote button, I see, "This question does not show any research effort," and I think an "I always wonder why..." question falls under that category.
Jun
24
comment What is the proper way to cross-reference a section within the same document?
RE: I learned years ago that a comma always goes before a quotation mark and never after one - "never" is such a strong word, especially on a shrinking planet. Anyhow, I'm guessing you attended school in the United States.
Jun
24
comment 'The average person' or 'an average person'?
The first doesn't necessarily refer to a specific person. (It could, but that seems quite unlikely for this particular sentence.) You have grossly oversimplified the use of the definite article in your answer, which has other uses besides the one you've touched on here – something I tried to address (somewhat whimsically) in this ELL post.
Jun
17
comment Idiom for a Shy Girl
This question is fine here, and I hope you get some good answers. However, I think you might also be interested in ELU's sister site, English Language Learners. You can read more about the two sites here, and decide where you might want to ask your next question.
Jun
16
comment Which one makes more sense Swap or Trade?
@WS2 - Thanks! I appreciate the clarification. Makes much more sense now, and very interesting to know. I think the terms are more interchangeable here in the U.S., especially over the past few decades.
Jun
16
comment Which one makes more sense Swap or Trade?
@WS2 - Now I'm really confused. Tushar: To exchange something for something else is the primary sense of trade. WS2 (to Tushar): Quite right. Well done. WS2 (to J.R.): I had never heard the word trade used in the sense of exchanging something until I was in my twenties and met an American. o_O
Jun
16
comment Which one makes more sense Swap or Trade?
@WS2 - I disagree with Tushar's assertion that swap has a "primary" and "secondary" sense. I'm guessing that assertion based on Oxford, yet Macmillan lists those same meanings in reverse. In fact, either word could be used.