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Jul
17
comment Is “certainly possible” an oxymoron?
The 2nd paragraph of this answer links to a definition of oxymoron ("in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction") but then argues on the basis of a criterion that is not present in that definition: that the terms not refer to "different, non-exclusive, non-dependent things." The linked dictionary defines "in conjunction" simply as "together." There is no requirement that the apparently contradictory terms refer to the same thing, or to dependent things. Therefore by the linked definition, "certainly possible" is an oxymoron.
Jul
17
comment Is “certainly possible” an oxymoron?
Ben, I'm with you on this one. Oxymoron (in the more traditional meaning) is a figure of speech, intended to produce an effect. So a phrase that can be (mis)understood as incongruous qualifies as oxymoron. Of course the more noticeable the incongruity, the less "contrived" the oxymoron is.
Jun
24
comment “Thirsty, we drank.”
I don't think this is the same construction. Your Latin example is ablative absolute ("an independent phrase with a noun... both words forming a clause grammatically unconnected with the rest of the sentence"). But the examples in the question don't have a noun, and they share the subject with the main clause of the sentence.
Jun
24
comment “Thirsty, we drank.”
My first reaction was that of @AndrewLeach, that the "absolute" adjective phrase does not modify the subject. But I learned that meaning of "absolute" from Latin, as maybe Andrew did. From the other sources listed here, it's clear that "absolute" has been defined in (a variety of) different ways for English.
Jun
19
comment How did phobia ever come to mean hatred?
An attempt to "call out" could fail for other reasons, e.g. that the call went unheeded. So "attempt" doesn't clearly put a neutral tone on the content of the "calling out." On the 2nd count, can you cite a source for meeting the burden of proof on the irrationality conclusion? Again, being wrong, or even being evil, doesn't imply irrationality, unless "irrational" becomes broadly defined and loses much of its force.
Jun
16
comment How did phobia ever come to mean hatred?
I would agree more with this answer if "alleged" were inserted in front of "irrational[ity]," since irrationality is a judgment of one party against another. People can be wrong without being irrational.
Jun
16
comment How did phobia ever come to mean hatred?
@ghoppe: How does your "I know..." sentence contradict the sentence you disagreed with?
Jun
16
comment How did phobia ever come to mean hatred?
@J.R.: Yes, and also, "You're not comfortable with me; therefore, you must be irrational." That's not always a rational conclusion.
May
27
awarded  Pundit
Apr
7
comment Is there any English word in which “ph” is not pronounced as “f”?
@l0b0: I don't get it. shep, sheep, sheeep... what's the punchline?
Jan
19
comment Is there any English/American equivalent for the Hungarian phrase “beating the nettle with someone else's penis”?
When I have heard this phrase, it has always meant blaming something on (someone): using (someone) as a scapegoat.
Jan
16
comment What does “datum (sed) non concessum” mean?
Let us continue this discussion in chat.
Jan
15
comment What does “datum (sed) non concessum” mean?
@Robusto: A valid point (datum et concessum). Yet the comparison doesn't imply that a 9v battery is inadequate to power a smoke detector. Nor does "X is used way less than Y," by itself, establish that X is not English.
Jan
15
comment What does “datum (sed) non concessum” mean?
@choster: Thanks for your comment (answer). Do you have any references?
Jan
15
comment What does “datum (sed) non concessum” mean?
@Robusto: I included a cursory analysis of the Latin meaning of the phrase, as relevant background information, but my question is not about the Latin meaning. It's about the English meaning. Regarding your second sentence, can you be explicit about how objective measures of occurrence of datum (sed) non concessum establish that it is not an English phrase?
Jan
15
comment What does “datum (sed) non concessum” mean?
@Barmar: I thought that was odd too. Did it only recently start being used in English? Not even datum sed non concessum is in there.
Jan
15
revised What does “datum (sed) non concessum” mean?
added 477 characters in body; added 68 characters in body
Jan
15
comment What does “datum (sed) non concessum” mean?
@Robusto: I disagree... It is about Latin, and English. This phrase appears to be used in English just as "sina qua non" or "QED" are. Yes, it's Latin, as are many other English phrases. If you assert that the phrase is not well-known enough in English communication be counted as on-topic, please cite your data to support that assertion. I'll add mine to the question.
Jan
15
asked What does “datum (sed) non concessum” mean?
Jan
5
awarded  Nice Answer