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seen Feb 22 at 4:45

Dec
11
comment What does this double negative mean?
To say that the "papers suggest he was a victim" might be putting it too strongly; but at least the papers do not suggest he was a perpetrator, for example.
Dec
11
comment What's the origin of the idiom “bust one's chops”?
The OP is mainly asking about the origin of the meaning "to exert oneself."
Nov
27
comment Idioms that mean making decision between two good options
"A super car that's very expensive but you are not sure if you like it" - it's not clear how this is a good option. Are you looking for an idiom that means making a decision between two potentially good options but you're not sure whether they're actually good?
Nov
14
comment Can the eldest sibling of three males call his younger brother “my older brother”
+1. Also, I think if he said 'my older brother' meaning the older of his (younger than himself) brothers, it would be most natural for him to stress older [and follow up with a clarification!], whereas if he were talking about a brother older than himself, he would not need to stress older unless it was in contrast to his younger (than himself) brother.
Nov
5
comment A word for blowing air into baby's tummy to make him(her) laugh
I think the point of Kevin's comments is that the Wikipedia description cited by ninja doesn't support the claim that "raspberry" applies to an umbilicolabial trill. (It might apply, but the description doesn't show that.)
Nov
4
comment Why is the sentence “She sighed, and began whispering again” grammatically incorrect?
@J.R.: isn't "I set my face towards home, and made the best use of my legs" an example of two coordinated predicates separated by a comma, making this an apples-to-apples comparison?
Oct
31
comment Is “a software” really never correct?
+1 Good point about the "ware" suffix.
Oct
31
comment What is the plural form of “Software”?
I agree with this answer, that "software" is uncountable. But oddly, Wolfram has an ad campaign for Mathematica going right now with the slogan "One software to rule them all." I think that's a mistake, but it's unusual for a reputable geek company like that to let a grammar error slip out. Maybe the countable usage of "software" is creeping into accepted English.
Sep
26
comment What is the term in linguistics when a word comes to have a new meaning over time, e.g 'wicked' is commonly used to demonstrate this
Is it still considered "semantic change" when the new meaning is additional, i.e. when the older meaning shows no signs of going away?
Sep
23
comment How correct is “quote, unquote” and where does its usage come from?
I agree that "quote, unquote" here applies to the word "cure". But I don't think it signals sarcasm exactly. Rather, it points out that the word is to be taken advisedly; e.g. that there is no true cure for aging (nothing that will completely get rid of aging), but the closest thing to what we could call a cure is slowing disease.
Sep
23
comment How correct is “quote, unquote” and where does its usage come from?
@AJMansfield: Hadn't heard of that etymology before. Can you cite any sources?
Sep
20
comment What do you call hypothetical inhabitants living on the Moon?
+1 ... I wasn't familiar with the Latin word lunaris.
Aug
28
comment When should I use “a” versus “an” in front of a word beginning with the letter h?
@PeterShor: The fact that people said "an hereafter" (not a French derivative) doesn't necessarily mean it has nothing to do with French. People could be overapplying a learned pattern (I guess that's a form of hypercorrection). But I would be interested in more thoughts/references about why (or according to what rules) people started using "an" before words starting with "h".
Aug
28
comment Why is 'an' used with 'an honour'?
@JonathanLeffler: "An umbrella" vs. "a ukelele" isn't weird. Ukelele starts with a consonant sound (a y glide).
Aug
26
comment Word for “of or relating to God”
"Spiritual" covers a lot more ground than just gods.
Aug
19
comment What word means centered about death?
@MichaelHardy: in that case ... morticentric? But somehow it doesn't sound as good.
Aug
19
comment What word means centered about death?
@JackAidley: The likelihood of being understood by a general reader is only one factor to consider. If his audience is not the "general reader" then it's a less important factor. The fact that morbid and macabre may be more easily **mis**understood (as starwed pointed out, and I agree) could be a more important factor in choosing the best word for this situation.
Jul
19
comment Are there counterpart English expressions to Japanese proverb, "the nail that pops up is always hammered down?
I always thought of "The bigger they come, the harder they fall" as referring to physically large people, who seemed intimidating in a fight. This saying was used to encourage the little guy not to be afraid of them.
Jul
18
revised Don't mind if I do!
added 191 characters in body
Jul
18
answered Don't mind if I do!