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Jan
23
comment If you start an imperative with “you”, does it become a statement or stay as a command?
Well, you've got me there.
Jan
23
comment If you start an imperative with “you”, does it become a statement or stay as a command?
This answer is impressive in form and detail. Unfortunately, I believe the answer to be vaguely wrong. Imperatives have no subject, or their subject is implied, if you prefer. You put the book on the shelf is a bad imperative, and Everybody take turns is just poor English.
Jan
23
comment If you start an imperative with “you”, does it become a statement or stay as a command?
@Araucaria: Perhaps you are right, but I would have judged the sentence You be careful to be vaguely ungrammatical. Test it this way: He be careful; I be careful; we be careful; and so on. Doesn't work. I would say that the answer with the comma is right.
Jan
23
comment The statement “people are humans”, as a metaphor?
Hubbard's sentence is good. However, in your paper, even Hubbard's sentence will fall flat on its face unless you follow it with some kind of substantiation. Without even an anecdote to back it up, it is just a flat assertion, which will put off a discerning reader. (Of course, there exist many undiscerning readers who actually like unsubstantiated assertions, so long as these assertions confirm their prior biases. Your mileage may vary.)
Jan
23
comment The statement “people are humans”, as a metaphor?
The problem with the sentence, if it is a problem, is almost too subtle to attract notice. [1] The word "people" is freighted with a primary meaning which does not help you, for it is a singular which means "nation" or "tribe." The phrase "people are" is always faintly troubled. [2] "Persons are human" doesn't do what you want. [3] What you really mean to say is "humans are human" -- or, if you would flout PC, "men are men" -- but this probably achieves the wrong effect. I am not sure that the sentence can be much improved as it stands. Either leave it, or write something else.
Jan
23
comment What is an unmown lawn called?
Doesn't quite answer the question as asked, but the photo is nice.
Jan
23
revised Why does common usage of “random” feel so incorrect?
Struck scare quotes from 'correct.'
Jan
23
comment When to use “that” and when to use “which”?
@sumelic: I like the changes, and find nothing further to add to them. You have been generous with your time. Thanks.
Jan
23
comment When to use “that” and when to use “which”?
@sumelic: If you have time, would make the suggested edits? I had not known that all languages are like that. In particular, I had thought that the peculiar usage of "das" and its cognates was a Germanic thing -- unlike, say, "qua," whose cognates are not used in such a way. But my Greek is not so good (as in, my Greek is practically nonexistent), so you may be right.
Jan
23
answered When to use “that” and when to use “which”?
Jan
23
comment When to use “that” and when to use “which”?
I personally tend to disagree with this answer's conclusion (though I am American), but the conclusion is well argued and well supported. +1
Jan
23
comment When to use “that” and when to use “which”?
@TsuyoshiIto: Your position is logical. The trouble is that the word that serves so many roles in English (and even in this very comment!) that the word which makes a welcome change. Though I am of the conservative, antique school which (that?) holds that language is fundamentally nondemocratic, that proper English is solely that which ("that which"!) the best writers have endorsed and confirmed through decades of usage, even I can admit defeat on a logical point like this one. I fear that the answerer is right. As a conjunctive pronoun in this sense, which may stand in place of that.
Jan
14
accepted Hyphenation of a compound modifier formed of an adjective and a noun
Jan
13
revised Hyphenation of a compound modifier formed of an adjective and a noun
edited body
Jan
13
asked Hyphenation of a compound modifier formed of an adjective and a noun
Jan
13
comment Does this open compound noun require a hyphen when used as an adjective?
@HotLicks: But "hotdog" is merely colloquial, and even then used as a (normally transitive) verb, from which the gerund "hotdogging" can be derived, as "Boys, you've had your attention. This is a dangerous waste of time. Now, stop hotdogging it and get to work!" (What is the verb's object? It! As I said, it's colloquial.) The noun is "hot dog."
Apr
7
comment Is using “he” for a gender-neutral third-person correct?
The downvotes make my point regarding the question's political entanglement. The answer is downvoted not because it is incorrect or misleading, but precisely because it is correct and informative. Go figure. The downvotes say more about the downvoters than about the merits of the answer.
Apr
7
accepted What is the word for “technical usurpation of an old word”?
Apr
7
accepted Is it “set A or B” or “sets A or B”?
Apr
5
comment First strike vs. first-strike
Question regarding your answer: "The capabilities damaged were first strike." Okay, that is an odd sentence, I admit, but since a verb of being separates the compound adjective from the noun it modifies, would the hyphen then disappear? Or would you have to say that the sentence is really, "The capabilities damaged were first-strike [ones]," with the pronoun ones omitted and implied?