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Mar
25
comment Are there nouns that are always plural — have no plural counterpart?
@JCooper Guess I was wrong, pants and glasses are in the same category as darts, mumps, etc. but not rabies. Technicalities. :)
Mar
25
comment What does it mean to “grow organically”?
Oh yes, good point. Just because the growth isn't directed, doesn't mean it can't be "pruned." ;-) I should remove that phrase to avoid confusion. I hope my edit agrees with your intentions.
Mar
25
comment Are there nouns that are always plural — have no plural counterpart?
@JCooper Pants and glasses are in the same category as rabies. See en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Category:English_pluralia_tantum
Mar
25
comment What does it mean to “grow organically”?
@Robert Exactly, that's what I was driving at. Organic growth is distributed growth not top-down directed growth.
Mar
25
comment What does it mean to “grow organically”?
I agree, but I think in the context of the source there was a contrast of what was driving the growth rather than what rate of growth or type of growth was occurring.
Mar
25
comment What does the phrase “I’m down with” mean?
@MrHen I'm down with that interpretation. ;) But I still think, depending on the subject, that there's an element of familiarity when you use the phrase. To be "down with" something means not only that you like it, but that you have experience with it.
Mar
25
comment What does the phrase “I’m down with” mean?
@Billare yeah you know me :)
Mar
22
comment When do I use present perfect tense instead of the simple past?
Duplicate: english.stackexchange.com/questions/1357/…
Mar
18
comment Why do golfers yell: “Fore”?
From what I've read, the term "fore-caddy" has the most plausibility. The golfer would yell at the fore-caddy to look for the incoming ball, and I reckon it would take one round to shorten "FORECADDY!" to "FORE!"
Mar
16
comment Would you say “it's impolite” to your kids?
I think many of our rules of propriety and "politeness" relate to cleanliness. If I were in a mood to have a discussion with my child, I could certainly go into detail about why certain taboos exist. However, a restaurant might not be an appropriate place for such a discussion. You give children too little credit, saying "it's impolite" should be enough and the child would fill in the blanks later.
Mar
16
comment What is the question form of “used to do”?
Your examples #1, #3 and #4 are directly contradicted by the example in your link: "Did you use to smoke?" Read the EnglishClub tip box.
Mar
15
comment Why do we “paint the town red”?
Bah, I still think the Marquis of Waterford tale is apocryphal. At best the town was indeed painted red, but this was not the origin of the phrase: a link was drawn after the phrase became popular. There is no evidence the saying originated in the UK, in fact, most evidence points to a US origin. See: ngrams.googlelabs.com/… and ngrams.googlelabs.com/…
Mar
9
comment More idioms like “needle in a haystack” relevant to hidden/hard to find items?
That's a new one. Very colourful!
Mar
8
comment Using the definite article before a country/state name
Quibble and FYI. The Dominion of Canada was never an official formal name and fell out of use after WWII, although it did appear on some official documents up to 1967. The Canada Act of 1982 made the official, formal name of Canada simply: Canada.
Mar
7
comment How do you pluralize abbreviations of metric names (e.g. “kilo”)?
@Jimi mil is also used in engineering as an abbreviation for a thousandth of an inch. I would avoid using it.
Mar
5
comment How to pronounce “E = mc²”
Or here: aip.org/history/einstein/sound/voice1.mp3
Mar
3
comment Singular form for “headphones”?
Agree. "She wore headphones in one ear and listened to him with the other" is perfectly understandable as would be "she was interrupted while dressing and was wearing her pants on one leg."
Mar
3
comment How is vehicle fuel efficiency expressed outside the United States?
FYI, the General Conference on Weights and Measures in 1979 adopted the additional symbol L for "liter" to avoid any confusion with the numeral 1. This has become the preferred symbol in North America.
Mar
2
comment “Luck”, “coincidence”, “chance” — most appropriate in this situation?
@The Raven Of course, now that I posted that I realize you mean "I found my X by luck" is non-idiomatic, not just "by luck." Even then, I respectfully disagree. I would use "by chance" if I wasn't actively looking for/missing something, but If I were looking for something and somehow stumbled upon it in an unlikely location, I could imagine exclaiming "I found my missing X purely by luck!"
Mar
2
comment “Luck”, “coincidence”, “chance” — most appropriate in this situation?
@The Raven I'm with @Robusto on this. I don't think by luck is non-idiomatic. A simple google search for "by luck" returns many results. In fact, the phrase would sound far more natural to me than by chance in several situations: "Did you win that game of darts by luck or by skill?"