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location Oldham, UK
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visits member for 3 years, 4 months
seen Nov 10 at 17:12

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.


Nov
9
comment What is the opposite of using something judiciously?
Hello, @Martha. I don't think the problem (trying to quote bullet point 3 say rather than 1 in an article) has been addressed yet.
Nov
9
revised Grammatical Reasoning?
added 324 characters in body
Nov
9
comment Grammatical Reasoning?
@Araucaria While your 'the submarine is envisaged as having agency in that sentence' doubtless contains some truth, the fact that AHDEL says 'Some people think it should be avoided when the subject does not have an ability' shows that their research must show that 'Some people think it may be used even in cases when the subject does not have an ability'. As I say, I don't like '... any fire door is unable to be opened in an emergency ...', used by a UK Government Department, but that doesn't mean I can go beyond the 'some people think that ...' position that AHDEL says exists.
Nov
9
revised Grammatical Reasoning?
added 1114 characters in body
Nov
9
comment Grammatical Reasoning?
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Rather more clout than individuals. And I don't find their 'The new submarine is able to dive twice as fast as the older model' at all unacceptable.
Nov
9
comment Grammatical Reasoning?
I've given an example from AHDEL.
Nov
9
comment Grammatical Reasoning?
Not true at all. AHDEL has in a usage note: 'The new submarine is able to dive twice as fast as the older model. Some people think it should be avoided when the subject does not have an ability ...'
Nov
9
answered Grammatical Reasoning?
Nov
9
comment place of comma before “for” when it can be interpreted as “because”
I wouldn't use 'for' in this example myself. If you're going to, it needs a comma to un-garden-path 'a loud thump for the cat'.
Nov
7
comment Using the word “whether” instead of “which”
I'd use a colon.
Nov
7
comment Past tense of lightning
@guifa Universal solutions in English!? We'd have nothing to argue about. I mean discuss. Over here, the PP version 'It was thundering and lightning last night' is quite often used, as is the gerund (though 'lightning' is probably deverbal here) version 'There was thundering and lightning'. The coupling disambiguates; 'It was lightning' (PP version) is very rare, though 'Was that lightning?' is used. One just has to be aware of local (-lish) practice. When in the US, walk on the sidewalk (and drive on the right).
Nov
6
comment Sublime: I think my understanding of this word is a little off, help please?
Thank you, @Joel Anair. I've been 'looking for' (ie I was 80+% sure it existed and I'd lost it, the alternative being that I was imagining such a term existed) this lost descriptor for ages.
Nov
6
comment Use of the phrase with abandon
The first question is general reference: abandon ... n 8. freedom from inhibitions, restraint, concern, or worry: she danced with abandon. Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
Nov
6
comment Sublime: I think my understanding of this word is a little off, help please?
collocate: VERB 1 [NO OBJECT] Linguistics (Of a word) be habitually juxtaposed with another with a frequency greater than chance: ‘maiden’ collocates with ‘voyage’ ODO Though your sense is also used.
Nov
6
comment How to use the word “on”
'We' certainly doesn't include me. What do 'we' interpret '[Look at those two butterflies.] The Red Admiral is on the right' as? Is a seat involved here?
Nov
6
comment Sublime: I think my understanding of this word is a little off, help please?
'Exquisite' collocates with 'pain'.
Nov
6
comment Is the below usage of “alone” correct?
It's certainly not incorrect, but 'You two came without me' is what I'd expect (I'm in the UK). It might sound more natural to US native speakers.
Nov
6
revised Is the below usage of “alone” correct?
added 52 characters in body
Nov
6
answered Is the below usage of “alone” correct?
Nov
6
comment Sherpa for a man's hatred of his mother?
I think it's great the way the site is kept free of off-topic questions while people are gracious enough to provide answers (in comments only, of course) for genuine enquirers.