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I'm a retired maths teacher with a degree in chemistry. Like most people, I can spot a flaw in (someone else's) argument more easily than I can substitute a better one. It concerns me that many contributors assume that their / their teacher's / their favourite grammar's ... 'rules' / dogmas / analyses ... are the 'truth'.

I enjoy walking, scenic beauty, many types of music and art, well-written novels, well-plotted dramas, well-notioned SF...

I also believe we've been put here for purpose.


2d
answered What is meant by “same difference”?
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comment What is meant by “same difference”?
You still haven't given any authority to support 'It effectively means "Whether these two choices are the same or different is immaterial to me" ' rather than a perverse take on 'it's the same thing' which I remember it being used for. I 'd have posted an answer if I could have found support for my view. Telling us what an oxymoron is is not an answer here.
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comment Irony - Alanis Morisette Song
Yes, sarcasm always involves sniping, a measure of vitriol. Gentle irony (in the sense of using verbal irony ['King Alfred here was one of the finalists on Masterchef'] or pointing out situational irony ['No, winning the Fields medal doesn't mean you can redefine the number system :-)']) needs handling judiciously, but has benign intent.
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answered Term between 'mentoring' & 'rubber ducking'
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comment Can “backup” be used as a verb in the context of data management?
I have closevoted.
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comment Irony - Alanis Morisette Song
Situational irony: we should all be able to laugh. Cosmic irony: not a good reason to laugh (though one might try to rectify one's fatalistic philosophy).
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comment Irony - Alanis Morisette Song
No; it's 'irony of fate' / 'cosmic irony' if one goes with this particular Wikipedia analysis, classification, and use of labels (there are slight variants elsewhere on the internet). A wonderful opportunity seems to have or actually has (actually winning the lottery) opened up, but is then shown to be (the man is actually already married) or actually changed to be (the lottery-winner dies before he can enjoy the money) a no-hoper. Situational irony is when you mistakenly give someone two 5s for a 20. After you've just won the Fields Medal (think Nobel Prize if there were one for maths).
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comment What exactly is “verbal irony”
I must disagree with this view of what I consider to be a very useful, accurate and detailed (and as far as I've been able to discover, comprehensive) analysis of the different senses the word 'irony' is, perhaps unfortunately, forced to accept. It's easily the best working model I've come across, and covers the different usages very well. Yes, it's a working hypothesis, and yes, the terminology may not yet be universally accepted, but this classification explains and disambiguates far more satisfyingly than most dictionaries. Thanks to @codeitagile for flagging up this article.
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comment Do these sentences make sense?
*See the Google Ngram
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comment Do these sentences make sense?
Just Googling "notwithstanding meaning" gets you (or at least me) straight to the Google article showing the different (allowable) usages, with examples. The article doesn't tell you that none of the usages is commonly used outside the legal register. Nor does it mention the even rarer* postpositional usage: "The evidence notwithstanding, the consensus is that the jury will not reach a verdict".
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comment What exactly is “verbal irony”
If you don't like the term 'verbal irony', use 'whimsical antiphrasis', but don't sabotage a fine analysis for the sake of arguing about terminology.
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comment Irony - Alanis Morisette Song
Whoever said this is probably using the definition of one of the other forms of irony. It's not 'verbal irony', for instance. But whoever said 'it's not irony' without qualification is in error.
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comment Irony - Alanis Morisette Song
This has been addressed before. Have a look at this post about the different 'types of irony' (the word is used with some very different senses, and the Wikipedia article referred to explains this well). The examples you list are obvious examples of the 'irony of fate' (when 'fate seems to build up your hopes and then dash them').
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comment Do these sentences make sense?
Yes, you need a semicolon or above in the second example: otherwise you've got the dreaded comma splice. I'd choose 'In spite of' in the first sentence (and drop the 'would') and '. Nevertheless, ...' in the second. 'Notwithstanding' does sound dated / formal / po-faced ... Incidentally, the first sentence does not have an ungrammatical usage of 'notwithstanding'.
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comment Why is Gilt a word when we have Gilded? Is this town big enough for the both of them?
'Speeded' and 'sped' intrigue me. I'd choose 'He speeded up as soon as he left the outskirts of the town, and sped up the road leading into the hills.' 'Bent' and 'bended' are not usually interchanged, though 'burned' and 'burnt' are. 'Set' is the normal past, but 'setted' for 'put into sets'.
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comment Subject/Complement Agreement. How to describe problem with “The thing is the objects.”
If I remember correctly, the comma police here use various different law books. And John Lawler thinks that commas are off-topic (or should be). I've used a comma to mimic the sentence construction (after the comment clause) in 'The thing is, I may not be able to afford all the expensive books I'll need'. The repeat would probably be delivered without a pause, and the written form is clear from the first instance, so I'm quite happy to omit the comma in the repeat. The use of the comma to signal pauses in dialogue rather than just for clarifying particular structures is contentious, though.
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comment Obsolete language.
There was a guy used it and used it powerfully not all that long ago: 'For Sauron will have dominion over all life on this Earth, even unto the ending of the world.' But unless your essay is quoting him, there's no sound reason to use 'unto'.
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comment Subject/Complement Agreement. How to describe problem with “The thing is the objects.”
Ah, I was taking 'The thing is the books' at face value. I'd say that it is unacceptable to chop 'The only thing I want you to apply yourself to now is your books' or similar down to this level. I expected a context like _'Will you have enough money for your first year at uni?' _'Well – the thing is, the books.' If you don't like the frills, _'Pardon?' _'The thing is the books.'
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comment Why is Gilt a word when we have Gilded? Is this town big enough for the both of them?
@Janus The juries are out on the word classes of say glass, plastic, wood, wool, gold used attributively. The online dictionaries are even self-inconsistent when dealing with these attributive-nouns-showing-material v derived adjectives. Conversion is a well known phenomenon; who decides when it has taken place is less well known.
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comment Noun to describe a “typo-filled” letter
Shouldn't such a document include say 'tupo=fiiled'?