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seen Oct 8 at 0:09

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

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
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
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
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.
Aug
31
comment How do I say that something must happen or another thing, not both, in one simple sentence?
english.stackexchange.com/a/13892/22229
Aug
30
comment How do I say that something must happen or another thing, not both, in one simple sentence?
+1 this is the most complete and accurate answer.
Aug
30
comment How do I say that something must happen or another thing, not both, in one simple sentence?
"Either" is suggestive of 'exclusive or', but only that. I certainly wouldn't say it does anything as strong as "implies".
Aug
29
comment What does ‘It’s one thing to dance like Fred Astaire, but Ginger Rogers did it backwards’ mean as a metaphor to John Roberts' ruling?
Yoichi may be interested in this: I'm pretty sure I've heard references to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers just from American television, e.g. Jay Leno, Letterman, etc. As I said, maybe most people don't get the reference completely, but it is not an unheard of thing like the answer and comments above suggest.
Aug
29
comment What does ‘It’s one thing to dance like Fred Astaire, but Ginger Rogers did it backwards’ mean as a metaphor to John Roberts' ruling?
I think the level of eruditeness needed to understand the quote is exaggerated. I expect most people can get the gist just fine without knowing exactly who Houdini, Ginger Rogers, or Fred Astaire are. Yes, to understand at a very complete level is probably beyond younger Time readers, but on the other hand, I've asked people that use expressions about Houdini what or who "Houdini" is and often found out they don't actually know. I've never watched Jersey Shore but understood the quote quite easily.
Aug
27
comment The verb for carrying out a bitwise OR/AND operation
I have a feeling you could use a better sentence construction to begin with. Why not "the two values are combined using bitwise OR on their tags"?
Aug
19
comment Should I say “have a good night” at 5:00 PM?
Terry, there is no way people are going to think you're wishing them only well for the evening but not later by saying "have a nice evening". That's just contrary to social norms and the use of such pleasantries. In fact, "have a nice day" is perfectly fine too. But I feel wishing them a good evening is slightly better than a good night, because you are recognizing the day is still early and there is time for them to enjoy the evening.
Aug
19
comment Should I say “have a good night” at 5:00 PM?
@Tim I agree. "Have a good night" is decidedly more formal.