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"My life is spent in one long effort to escape from the commonplaces of existence. These little problems help me to do so." (Sherlock Holmes)

I sometimes enjoy embedding puns and subtle self-references into many of my answers and comments.

Remember, context is everything.


Never make the mistake of thinking that a tiny preposition has only one meaning.


17h
comment Distinguishing Australian, English, South African accents
You can always ask a question like, May I ask where you're from? or, Where were you raised? or, What kind of accent is that?
17h
comment Grammar help - Any books? Audio books?
You might be interested in the resources meta thread on English Language Learners.
Jan
27
comment Ungrammatical: “Half the boys jumped, but only a quarter of the girls did.”?
Adding likewise adds another layer of possible confusion. I could take that to mean: Half the boys jumped, but only a quarter of the girls jumped as far as those boys jumped. I agree with @Martha that ambiguity is being added along with these extra, unnecessary words.
Jan
27
comment Spelling of one syllable changes pronunciation of another
To piggyback on @John Lawler's point, there are other examples that don't fit the exact pattern you describe here, but still might be considered spelling oddities if you assumed that spelling reliably dictated pronunciation. Examples include: oven/open, even/seven, haven/having, modem/modern, seven/even, money/movie, pint/pinto, miser/misery and colony/colonel.
Jan
26
comment preposition for tie
You might want to check out English Language Learners. More here.
Jan
26
comment What phrase could take place “far better than”?
Sure you can, but you'd probably want to say kicks, not kick, and you should know that your language might be considered crude and unprofessional. You might also want to check out English Language Learners. I won't say that ELL kicks ELU's ass, but I will say that it's often a better place to ask questions if you're not a fluent English speaker. More here.
Jan
26
comment Antonym for 'bound'
It depends on where the vehicle is heading. If the train's destination is Bristol, then the opposite of London-bound is Bristol-bound ;^)
Jan
26
comment What is the early modern equivalent of ' I think '
@WS2 - I've seen that before; my comment was simply meant to coax the O.P. to include that tidbit, in order to improve the question (which seems to have worked, based on the subsequent edit).
Jan
25
comment What's a Word for “Very Sick”?
You might be able to accomplish your goal by using any of the words you suggest, along with the adverb so: "A few days after the event, I became so ill I couldn't get out of bed for a few days." (I realize that's not a word, but at least it gives words like ill and unwell the strength you desire.)
Jan
25
comment What is the early modern equivalent of ' I think '
"I think" could be used in a few different contexts. I think I'll have a salad tonight. I think about Martha all the time. Joe was wrong about that, I think. And what time frame do you mean when you refer to the "early modern" era? If you edit your question and address such details, people might be able to answer your question. As it stands now, I think it might be hard to supply any kind of answer.
Jan
25
comment Idiom for: managing to solve a big problem only to be frustrated by a smaller problem
It sounds like you are looking for something that would mean, "Out of the fire and into the frying pan." I suppose you could use that.
Jan
25
comment What does “We're taking one for the team” mean?
General reference?
Jan
23
comment When using the French word “sans” in an English sentence, should I use italics?
Joe: I'm amazed at your ability to discern between pretentiousness and, say, deliberate brevity. Besides, I referring the overall stance, not the examples: there is nothing wrong with using sans if you like the way it sounds. Though it’s originally French, it has a long history of use in English. They also claim it's been "widely used" for 200 years; that's an awful lot of use for every instance to be a sign of pretentious writing. And your comment supports my point; you initially alluded to "precisely one reason, absolutely, one (1) reason" – but now you've added a second (namely, humor).
Jan
22
comment What does the phrase “Terminated Indefinitely” mean?
@DanBron - I'm not sure I agree with the "never coming back" part. I think the phrase means "The project is shut down with no current plans to revive it," but I think indefinitely allows for a slim chance that the project could be restarted down the road, particularly if conditions change.
Jan
22
comment When using the French word “sans” in an English sentence, should I use italics?
@JoeBlow - I like the first part of your comment, but your stubborn adherence to the notion that the "sole, only, absolutely, exactly, one (1)" reason to use sans is to be pretentious seems a bit closed-minded. I prefer this milder view.
Jan
21
comment When using the French word “sans” in an English sentence, should I use italics?
Much too dogmatic, and the repetition doesn't help. This answer might have had some merit had it been written sans the excessive reiterating.
Jan
16
comment What do you call a manipulative person?
RE: That has the feeling they are manipulating things rather than people. Interesting point; I'd recommend you expand your question a little bit, and explain why you don't like manipulator, so that anyone reading this question can figure that out without reading through these comments down here.
Jan
10
comment How do dictionaries cope with new meanings of words?
@Saeid - (1) If you have "low English level" you may want to check out English Language Learners, which was created for that audience. (2) The Stack Exchange should not be a place where people can ask whatever they want; it was designed to be different, and certain kinds of questions should be avoided.
Jan
7
comment Using “I don't think” to express an opinion
I think there's some truth to that. In the example of I didn't sleep very well, I don't think, that second part might be expressing a bit of uncertainty, not disappointment. It's a shortened form of I didn't sleep very well; at least, I don't think I did.
Jan
7
comment Using “I don't think” to express an opinion
As for your second question, I don't think it's confined to "disappointment." Consider: I won't be volunteering for that detail, I don't think (in other words, "Let some other sucker get roped into that"). Or: I won't be quitting my job anytime soon, I don't think (uttered by someone who likes their job).