86,418 reputation
16144286
bio website english.stackexchange.com/…
location United Kingdom
age 60
visits member for 3 years, 11 months
seen 4 hours ago

I did my degree in English/French Language/Linguistics back in the '70s, but I only got a middling grade, and I've worked in software development ever since, so I'm really only an expert on English language in the same way any articulate native speaker is.

To save the trouble of repeatedly doing it on individual posts, I'll just say here that I don't come to EL&U looking for arguments. If I come across as contentious that will nearly always be inadvertent carelessness on my part.

Anyway - if you have been, thanks for reading.


4h
comment What do we say when glue does not stick anymore?
@A E: Without context, you'd probably assume "dried up" glue is still in a glue-pot, tube, or something. But as I specifically flagged up by using self-sealed envelopes in my example, it's perfectly okay in other contexts where the "glue" is neither in a container nor currently sticking anything together.
6h
revised What do we say when glue does not stick anymore?
added 205 characters in body
6h
comment The structure of the following sentence: “Why may standing up for a long time cause hypotension?”
"Why may [X happen]?" isn't idiomatically common in most contexts (it's a bit dated/formal/starchy). More likely are "Why does..." or "How can...".
7h
answered What do we say when glue does not stick anymore?
8h
comment Gone are the days
@Carl: Perzactly! I'd guess the vast majority of contemporary spoken instances would be to a greater or lesser extent "facetious" (or at least somewhat "self-conscious"). And if you see it in written form without any such connotations, it's usually just a trite cliche reflecting nostalgia both in form and semantic content. As you say, tricky to get "right" without both general cultural background and a clear grasp of the specific context in terms of register, target audience, etc.
9h
comment Discussing a dead person: Present or past tense: His name is or was john? He is or was my cousin?
possible duplicate of Is it correct to say "What was your name?"?
10h
comment Putative should - what time does it express?
Apparently "putative should" (aka "emotional should" or "attitudinal should") does have some currency. Personally I see it as very much indicative of surprise/disbelief, and it doesn't work very well for me with other emotions such as regret. To me, "I'm surprised you should think that" seems "normal", but "I'm sorry you should think that" just seems a bit "weird" (though as you say, "should" is totally redundant in both cases anyway). I quite agree it has strong echoes of the standard French usage.
10h
comment A word meaning <a short article or essay>
The original pandect came from Roman Law. A compendium in fifty books of Roman civil law, made by order of the emperor Justinian in the 6th cent., systematizing opinions of eminent jurists and given statutory force (OED), so it doesn't really work for OP's "short article or essay". Although monographs are usually equally detailed, they're often quite short because the subject matter is so tightly delineated - so +1 for that, even if it's not your primary suggestion.
11h
comment “She suggested me to go shopping.”
possible duplicate of "Suggest to go" vs. "suggest going". Or more precisely, How to use the word “suggest” correctly, but that one has no upvoted answers.
11h
comment What is the objection of Siddhartha here?
This question appears to be off-topic because it is about an obscure metaphysical concept being metaphorically articulated in the original German text. It's almost incidental that it's then been translated into English - the exact meaning is a matter of philosophy rather than language.
11h
comment Gone are the days
@Saleem Ul Haq: As you don't seem to be a native speaker, it would probably be best to simply avoid this usage completely. It's a quaint dated/frozen form with unmistakeably non-standard word order that you wouldn't often encounter in natural speech today. Even in writing there's a good chance you'll use it in an inappropriately - why take the risk for an outdated usage?
1d
comment Are there any famous English poems that every British-raised or American-raised person knows?
@Janus: Well, I suppose the vast majority of Anglophones know "Wherefore art thou, Romeo?". Which was written many centuries after Jing Ye Si, yet is obviously only very loosely connected to English as used today, so I question how much relevance any (earlier or later) suggestion here has to ELU as such.
1d
comment What is a Metaphor for “Being Thrown Into a Completely New Environment”
This is POB, but I'll throw in out of one's element.
1d
comment Are there any famous English poems that every British-raised or American-raised person knows?
This question appears to be off-topic because it is about culture/poetry, not the use of English
1d
comment Quote: nearly impossible for artists to critique themselves well?
From The Later Diaries of Ned Rorem: 1961-1972 An artist able to assess his own work is already dead.
1d
comment conniption origin?
I don't think it's exactly an "old medical term" - more of a rather quaint AmE slang term for tantrum, about on a par with "hissy fit". OED lists it as US vulgar, first recorded 1833.
1d
comment What did he say in this video?
@TRomano: That sounds right to me too. Can we please close this question now?
1d
comment Do you use “a” or “an” before acronyms?
possible duplicate of When should I use "a" vs "an"?
2d
awarded  Nice Answer
2d
comment However in the middle of a sentence
@Erik: I don't know about you, but with no other context I'd be inclined to assume however modifies lecture with the word order as given. Which forces me to assume some slightly contrived context where the lecture is being given "faint praise" because at least it gives broad coverage (in contrast to something else previously mentioned, such as the preprinted notes, which didn't even manage to do that).