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location California
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visits member for 2 years, 3 months
seen Sep 12 at 5:00

I don't regard myself as particularly interested in English language and usage, but it is undeniable that I've often discussed them with friends.

I used to think my friends and I spent way too much time arguing details, but the experts on English StackExchange definitely have taken that to a new level (with plenty of newbie biting and antisocial behavior). So this is not a place I enjoy spending much time on, although I appreciate the good advice sprinkled throughout by the less ego-driven, well-meaning contributors.

Relevant info to know about me:

  • Native fluency in American English
  • Descriptivist

Sep
11
comment How to describe someone who speaks a language “as if it is his mother tongue” in a CV?
I kind of buy this. But I wonder, is there really a difference between saying "native proficiency" and "native fluency"? The latter sounds more natural to my ear.
Sep
11
answered How to describe someone who speaks a language “as if it is his mother tongue” in a CV?
Sep
11
comment How to describe someone who speaks a language “as if it is his mother tongue” in a CV?
@Jonas, with bilingual children, it is actually not uncommon that they can speak their non-native language better and indistinguishably from that of a native speaker.
Sep
9
comment Why are words ending in “-um” and “-us” pluralized to end in “-a” and “-i”, respectively?
@JanusBahsJacquet "...just making up strange ones"? I didn't make it up though, as I think you are well aware.
Jan
9
comment Is it “Check and mate” or “Checkmate”?
@Mitch It hasn't always been. The reason for the English term "stalemate" is precisely because a stalemate was considered one way to win for a period in chess history (see my comment to Pitarou's answer for a link).
Jan
9
comment Is it “Check and mate” or “Checkmate”?
I don't believe the distinction given exists. I've played in clubs and tournaments and generally it's considered rude to announce "check", "check and mate", "checkmate", or anything really, except to offer a draw. This etiquette extends to friendly games too, at least between players that take the game seriously.
Jan
9
comment Is it “Check and mate” or “Checkmate”?
For some time (at least in Britain), a stalemate was considered a win, hence a "mate". So by that convention, you can indeed be mated without being checked. books.google.com/…
Dec
6
comment What is a more modern variant of the interjection 'Lo!"
@jwpat7 Probably the best is to combine those two: "He claims he is innocent of corruption, but... Whoa, dude! He is taking bribes." :) (I'm reminded of Bill and Ted...)
Dec
6
comment What is a more modern variant of the interjection 'Lo!"
@Marcus_33 I would not use "dude" in a very formal context, which is what the OP wants.
Sep
3
revised Did President Obama break punctuation rules in his tweet?
president should be capitalized
Sep
3
comment Did President Obama break punctuation rules in his tweet?
In "President Obama", note 'president' is capitalized. This is also true for the phrase, "President of the USA". FYI.
Sep
3
suggested suggested edit on Did President Obama break punctuation rules in his tweet?
Sep
3
comment Did President Obama break punctuation rules in his tweet?
This seat's color's red -- Yes, you're supposed to understand the two different uses of apostrophe in this example from context.
Aug
31
comment Is describing someone as “higher-educated” awkward?
I disagree with Tom's answer. "Highly" is relative, and you're basically assuming something about the reader. If you have a masters and you tell a group of PhDs you are "highly educated", they'll laugh. Conversely, if you have a PhD and you tell people you are "highly educated", they'll think you're being an ass.
Aug
31
comment How to specify dates in a U.S. résumé?
There must be a "résumé" mafia or something. @tchrist rejected my edit to change résumé back to the (just as correct) form used by the OP: resumé. It's a mite silly for moderators to enforce their own preferences.
Aug
31
comment How to specify dates in a U.S. résumé?
I have undone tchrist's accent changes since it is a matter of preference. I note the misspelling 'prefered' has remained despite all the hoopla over the accents.
Aug
31
suggested suggested edit on How to specify dates in a U.S. résumé?
Aug
31
comment Compressed vs. zipped
I wouldn't say they are interchangeable. "Compressed" would confuse people a lot more than "zipped". This is, of course, assuming you are talking to an average computer user.
Aug
31
comment Compressed vs. zipped
This is one of the better answers, so I hope you will update your answer with my suggestion. It's actually preferable to use "zipped" instead of "compressed". The level of computer illiteracy is such that people may actually get confused if you say "compressed".
Aug
31
comment When your 10-year old boy says “It’s meta,” what does it mean? In what situation and of what sort of object they use this phrase?
Continuing in the vein @JoshuaShaneLiberman started, I don't think it's correct to call the incorrect usage mentioned above a teenager's "definition". There are probably many people that use "meta" incorrectly and inconsistently.