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seen May 11 at 22:13

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

Feb
3
comment What is a single word to describe beating someone brutally?
@KinjalDixit your link uses "brutalize" to mean a beating, which shocked and motivated the witness to leave the woman to be raped later. So that use of "brutalize" does not include rape. As Fixee pointed out, US print media does not use "brutalize" as a euphemism for rape, despite the above claim.
Jan
30
comment How to describe someone who speaks a language “as if it is his mother tongue” in a CV?
Tim, I have no idea what you are saying. There are plenty of people that did not speak English as a first language, came to the US at an early age, learned it as part of their environment (school, friends, but not their parents or home), and now speak English indistinguishably from a native, despite what you claim.
Jan
3
comment Difference between “game” and “sport”
In the US at least, most people wouldn't consider chess a sport. I'm aware that internationally it's quite different but I'd say examples like chess are the exception, not the rule. Scrabble, spelling, mathematical problem solving, can all be done at a high competitive level but most people don't consider them sports.
Dec
14
comment Origin of the phrase “third time's the charm” / “third time lucky”?
I'd say something coming in threes is of a distinctively different thread of meaning than something happening on a third attempt, albeit related.
Oct
19
comment How to describe someone who speaks a language “as if it is his mother tongue” in a CV?
Supposed "foreigners" who grew up speaking English indistinguishably from the so-called native speaker can be reasonably considered to have "native fluency", which is my point.
Sep
18
comment What is the origin of the phrase “bush league”?
@mplungjan It was better to put it as an answer, not a comment.
Sep
18
comment What does the initial fragment of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy mean?
Good example of the busy father....
Sep
13
comment Secular alternative to “preaching to the choir”?
@JamesWebster To me, "lecturing the experts" suggests that you're trying to teach people that know better than you, e.g. "Why are you lecturing the experts here? Do you think you know better?"
Sep
13
comment Secular alternative to “preaching to the choir”?
Kristina, you say they have the same meaning, but then you give two different contexts and in each context only one is appropriate but not the other. So how can they convey the same meaning?
Sep
13
comment What do you call an event that happens without a cause?
I wouldn't take that person at physics stackexchange too seriously. They're using a very narrow definition of "random" that's definitely not agreed to by a majority of physicists or mathematicians.
Sep
12
comment What is a negative word to describe people that love showing off their knowledge?
A good answer, but one risks being seen as a "Claven" oneself by using the term.
Sep
12
comment A positive way to describe a know it all
If someone only corrected when it was helpful, that would be an entirely different type than the OP described. The type of person s/he described would correct someone, even when everybody else there considers the correction unhelpful (except the corrector of course). I think the issue is that a lot of people think they're being helpful, but they are sometimes not being so, and perhaps over time, even considered often unhelpful. I don't think this says anything bad about our society; more like it says something about those people who consider themselves such paragons of truth.
Sep
12
comment A positive way to describe a know it all
Such a person doesn't exist. Even a person "invariably right" is sometimes wrong for arguing a point in certain circumstances. That's why there are so many derogatory terms for related types of the kind you describe.
Sep
11
comment How to call certain kinds of tall shoes that women use to wear?
Interestingly, when I search for "stripper shoes" on Amazon, you get a bunch of stripper shoes, most of which do not say "stripper shoe" in their product title (Amazon probably uses terms from reviews and also click-throughs from searches). Amazon is smart about this, huh? They want to sell stripper shoes but not use the term... which I think ends up validating RyeBread's point.
Sep
11
comment Is there a word or a concise expression to describe 'a person who pretends not to want an object they truly desire'?
I'd say a "phoney/fake" is more about a person that pretends to be something they're not. It's not really about feigning indifference, although some phoneys do pretend to be "cool" by acting unaffected.
Sep
11
comment Why are words ending in “-um” and “-us” pluralized to end in “-a” and “-i”, respectively?
@JanusBahsJacquet Well, I wasn't arguing for that per se. I was arguing for ambivalence.
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
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).