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seen Jul 21 at 11:09

Dec
23
comment Using “a” in the title of a scientific paper
It absolutely should not be replaced by the definite article. If omitting it makes it an inaccurate description of what's in the paper, then don't omit it. I have read several papers with "a(n)" or "the" in the title.
Dec
23
comment Is ‘that’ the short form of ‘of all that’?
There were certain things-that-had-happened-to-him, and this was the worst...
Dec
21
comment Using the word “difference” in the meaning “result of subtraction” taking into account the negative values
@StoneyB The phrase "_ and _" is symmetric in its arguments, and adding in a "between" doesn't change this, but subtraction is not symmetric in its arguments. For this reason, in mathematics, we don't use this phrase due to its imprecision (unless we're simultaneously pointing at a scrawl on a blackboard that clarifies, or unless there's some reason we don't care about sign). :) I recommend non-mathematicians do likewise, but when I stumble across the phrase "the difference between _ and _", I usually interpret it as what J.R. and Edwin said.
Dec
21
comment Is “bulwarker” an acceptable word?
According to Google, it's acceptable if you're playing Final Fantasy XIII (or it's part of your moniker on a gaming forum) or if you're on bulwarker.com, and nowhere else. Odd.
Dec
20
comment Combine these two sentence with relative pronoun
I have certainly heard it - and I would guess that this is a result of the ellipsis "the time when we..." -> "the time we..." and then back-formation. I tend to hear it more used when "time" means "(one) occasion (out of several)" rather than "point in time", but I've heard both.
Dec
20
comment Phrase which describes falsely improving something
Earliest reference I've found is to a 1983 film ("Christine", character Will Darnell). Interestingly, Mary Matalin is reported as having quoted Lyndon Johnson (who died in 1973): "you can't shine shit", but I can't immediately see anything better than that.
Dec
18
comment Does one remonstrate another or does one remonstrate with another?
@jcolebrand :) Glad to help.
Dec
18
comment Does one remonstrate another or does one remonstrate with another?
@jcolebrand I think Andrew is saying that "I debated you" means "I was talking about you (with some other people)", not "I debated with you". (If you use it in the latter sense, it might be regional slang - I've never heard it, but I can imagine it being plausible.)
Dec
18
comment Does one remonstrate another or does one remonstrate with another?
@StoneyB Okay, I'll post it.
Dec
18
comment Does one remonstrate another or does one remonstrate with another?
@jcolebrand When you are opposing a person, you are remonstrating with them ("I remonstrated with Joe"). When you disagree with a claim / object / person / person's behaviour / whatever, and you want to oppose it, you will remonstrate some words of opposition - most commonly these words of opposition will be direct speech (like in the Oxford dictionary example) or a clause of indirect speech starting with that (like in StoneyB's example below). The word is similar to "argue" in these cases ("I argued with Joe", "I argued that he was wrong", "'I find your behaviour appalling,' I argued").
Dec
18
comment Does one remonstrate another or does one remonstrate with another?
@jcolebrand Please calm down. I neither closevoted nor downvoted your post (nor told you to google anything). I am still waiting to find out what your question is. You still seem to be asking questions like "which should I use when?", and I don't see how we haven't answered you. This isn't a snide comment - please tell me what you still don't know, and I will try to help you.
Dec
18
comment Does one remonstrate another or does one remonstrate with another?
@jcolebrand You seemed to ask "would it be better to say I remonstrated Joe or I remonstrated with Joe?". That is a simple binary question, and the answer is "the latter - go see a dictionary". I'm happy to believe you that there's a more profound question in there, but I can't work out what it is. Are you asking which is more common? books.google.com/ngrams/… How's this?
Dec
18
comment Does one remonstrate another or does one remonstrate with another?
merriam-webster.com/dictionary/remonstrate suggests that adding "with" is usual.
Dec
18
comment Difference between “I am doing lunch” and “I am having lunch”
To me, "to do lunch" seems to have a connotation of eating lunch with a secondary purpose in mind - "do lunch with a colleague/client" or "do lunch with a friend" - as if "lunch" was on your to-do list, for some reason, and you wanted to cross it off. "To have lunch" sounds quite neutral to me, on the other hand. If a friend said "we should do lunch" to me, it sounds like a future invitation to eat together; if a friend said "we should have lunch", it sounds as though it's reached lunchtime and we should both eat, and doesn't imply "together". But other people may think differently.
Nov
15
comment How do we differentiate long vowels from short vowels in English
@JimThio: Don't worry about it. :)
Nov
10
comment Plural of “the [x] of [y]”
As far as I'm aware, in the construction "the x of y", "x" is always required to be plural if there's more than one of them - regardless of their relationship with the "y". (Also as far as I'm aware, this isn't the case in French, where "x" is plural only if at least one "y" has more than one "x", but singular if there is one "x" per "y".)
Nov
10
comment Is the term “go-to-hell hat” in common usage?
For what it's worth, I've heard the slang attributive adjective "fuck-off" (emphasis on the first syllable) used to mean "very large".
Nov
10
comment How do we differentiate long vowels from short vowels in English
@JimThio: (1) Those dialects are English. You have to speak one and understand them all, just like all native English speakers. (2) Not all white guys speak English, and not all native English speakers are white guys. (3) Gratuitously referencing someone's skin colour is not generally acceptable in British, American, Australian etc. cultures. If you learn the language without the culture, you still won't be able to communicate. (4) Pronouncing "apple" as "eipple" is - as far as I know - wrong in all dialects. It's not a case of 'fretting'. If you say "eipple", nobody will understand you.
Nov
4
comment In British English, do you favorite or favourite a post?
Well, I use "bookmark", but if I had to choose which of the "favo(u)rite"s I wanted to use as a verb, I would choose "favourite", of course. (Actually, perhaps that "of course" is a little unfair, because there are interesting examples of this: it's a "dialog box", not a "dialogue box", for instance.)
Oct
30
comment Present Simple instead of Present Perfect
@user1425 "this rule exists among learners" I think it's good to distinguish between "rule" (hard and fast law of the language) and "rule of thumb" (imprecise guidelines designed to make language learning easier). "Lately" does not at all invite the present perfect intrinsically. Rather, the present perfect usually expresses things that have happened lately, so the two are often combined. The time referred to by "lately" and the present perfect overlap a lot. This can be helpful to students of English who don't understand what the present perfect signifies, but that's all, I think.