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11431
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location United States
age 54
visits member for 4 years
seen 8 hours ago
Long-time Informix user and developer, experienced in C and Unix (many variants). Email: jonathan.leffler@gmail.com

Jan
31
comment How do I know when a word with “ch” is pronounced hard or softly?
Also 'loch' and other words from Gaelic use a 'k'-like sound - a guttural 'kh'.
Jan
31
comment Why is “ass” considered obscene?
Donkeys are not obscene.
Jan
29
comment Do these river names mean anything?
@PLL: I hadn't heard that one - but your URL led me to Wikipedia's List of tautological place names which does include 'Pendle Hill' amongst its celebrities - though I knew of that independently of Wikipedia.
Jan
28
comment Do these river names mean anything?
For the specifics, Ward gave an excellent answer. There are other similar anomalies in place names in the British Isles. One of my favourites is Pendle Hill. The word 'pen' means hill. Later, the next incomers changed the hill's name to 'Pendle', meaning 'hill hill'. And then the next incomers, not knowing the etymology (and sadly lacking an internet) called it Pendle Hill or 'hill hill hill', so Pendle Hill really, really, really is a hill, because anything said three times is the truth.
Jan
25
comment “Give me one half of that” Vs. “give me half of that”
@Roberto: comment converted to an answer...and removed as a comment. I thought Shaun's answer was pretty reasonable; my comment (now answer) wasn't all that different.
Jan
25
answered “Give me one half of that” Vs. “give me half of that”
Jan
25
answered Italics and punctuation
Jan
25
comment How come 'ou' was reduced to 'o' in the US?
They're lazy - they also drop the doubled-consonant in words like 'travelling'. Or, maybe, they were ecologically sound before everyone else and tried to save paper and ink? No, maybe not...
Jan
23
comment Is there a reason behind the ordering of letters in the English alphabet?
It's funny - there are at least two 'English' alphabets; the UK English one (the definitive English English alphabet?) that has zed as its twenty-sixth letter, and the US English (American alphabet?) that has zee as its twenty-sixth letter.
Jan
21
comment “Oyster perpetual”
+1: I think part of the significance of 'Oyster' is that its casing is sealed as tight as an oyster - water does not get in.
Jan
20
comment Issues with articles
@Anderson: If you say "On Wall Street", you are using a proper name, and I wouldn't use any article, any more than I'd say "If I address a comment to an [or 'the'] Anderson Silva, he will respond" - because there is only one Anderson in this context. I could use "I wonder which of the 20 people named Anderson Silva living in [some country] will respond; it would be fun to have an Anderson Silva talk to me". Then the article 'an' is appropriate.
Jan
20
revised Issues with articles
Ouch - missing 'eed' at word 3! (Cries with shame - the ignominy of it!)
Jan
19
answered When does a mistake become standard usage?
Jan
19
answered Issues with articles
Jan
19
comment “Cancelled” or “Canceled”?
Funny that it isn't 'speled' like that!
Jan
18
answered Should there be a comma before “though” when it occurs at the end of a sentence?
Jan
18
awarded  Critic
Jan
17
answered “Worse comes to worst” or “worst comes to worst”
Jan
17
comment Use like something in a sentence
@Borror0: if I had edit privileges, perhaps. I don't have them (yet). I suspect that the OP is speaking English as a second language; I hope that my explanations will help him or her improve their 'Use of English' - as well as provide an answer to the direct or main question.
Jan
17
comment Use like something in a sentence
Because I'm an old fuddy-duddy? Probably. The slash is meant to mean 'or', and the word looks better. The English style books that I learned from discouraged the slash - so I'm reiterating what I learned a long time ago. In engineering circles, 'week/day' would be 'weeks per day', and the answer had better be 1/7 (unless you're working in business weeks, in which case, I suppose it is 1/5).