82,620 reputation
15124267
bio website english.stackexchange.com/…
location United Kingdom
age 60
visits member for 3 years, 8 months
seen 11 mins 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.


20s
comment Any single word synonym for “fawn over”?
@Joe: I don't think it would normally be "standard" to use fawn to mean fuss in such contexts, but the actual meanings might easily overlap indistinguishably if you were talking about a stereotypical retired Hollywood actress fawning/fussing over her yappy toy dog carried around in a handbag.
11m
comment Is 'she' the 'cat's aunt'?
@WS2: I genuinely was puzzled as to how it might come about that you weren't familiar with the "standard" version, but I think I've figured it out. I suspect the expression probably wouldn't appear very often in current fiction (books, TV shows, etc.) because it's basically a "cliche". And the nature of how it's actually used in "real life" means we're only likely to encounter it in the context of close friends & family (and their children). So if for you most such people are from Norfolk (which they're not for me), the "aunt" version could easily be the only one you've ever heard.
39m
comment Any single word synonym for “fawn over”?
Do you mean as an action (flatter, brown-nose), or an attitude (worship, idolise)?
10h
comment “About which” in legal English
Usually, concerning which, but in your exact context in respect of which [event] might be better. Legalese is an ugly style and difficult to parse though, so I wouldn't go overboard.
10h
comment Can the word “proxy” be used as a preposition?
...anyway, my underlying point is if that page doesn't even list an acknowledged preposition, they're hardly likely to list OP's "creative" usage as one.
10h
comment Can the word “proxy” be used as a preposition?
@Edwin: Looking at that page reminded me I've long been irritated by Orwell's Our civilization, pace Chesterton {blah blah}. I don't recall ever hearing it used in conversation in almost 50 years since I first asked my English teacher what it meant. He told me pace there meant after, since, and it was years until I met it in print again, got confused by the semantics, and checked a dictionary.
10h
comment Can the word “proxy” be used as a preposition?
@gragas: Or ...on my parents' behalf.
14h
comment Can the word “proxy” be used as a preposition?
You can certainly do it if (a) you want to, and (b) you think other people will understand your meaning. Given the entire context of your question I can understand your intent - but if all I had to go on was your example sentence, I probably wouldn't. You'd do better to express yourself in "normal" English, such as I sent my brother to his room (acting as a proxy for my parents, or using my parents as proxy). Or even more normally, on behalf of my parents, since "proxy" is a bit of an obscure word to many.
14h
comment Is 'she' the 'cat's aunt'?
@WS2: My "mother" link is to several hundred written instances. Out of interest, I just searched for the same with "aunt". What I found particularly interesting was that of the four results returned, two are quite obviously referring to it as a Norfolk usage. Which I'm not surprised I'd never heard before, but I do think it's odd that you've apparently not come across the "standard" version.
14h
comment Is 'she' the 'cat's aunt'?
I think "Who's she? The cat's mother?" is General Reference for ELU. Besides which the broader issue has been covered on ELU before.
14h
comment How is a typesetting language called when it can express much?
I would say in OP's case language A is actually more primitive than B. The most powerful "language/symbol set" in the world today (the one enabling us to be here online right now) actually only has two symbols (0 and 1, on and off). It's how you arrange the symbols into meaningful permutations that matters, not how many discrete symbols the language incorporates.
14h
reviewed Close “unconservative” or “inconservative”?
14h
reviewed Close In this past tense activity is it necessary to use continuous form for climbed?
14h
reviewed Close Recommended pronunciation of international English for foreigners
14h
reviewed Close Is there a word or phrase that means both the answer and the question?
14h
reviewed Close Should it be capitalized? “The state of Michigan has many lakes.”
14h
reviewed Close Quoting lyrics or lines of poetry
14h
reviewed Close Does rote memorization offer any benefits in learning English concepts?
14h
comment alphabetising the indefinite article
I suppose we should be glad OP's not called Henry or Harry. At least with A we can point to some words where the name of the letter sounds the same as the use. It might be more difficult to explain why H is "called" aitch, since it never sounds remotely like that in any words.
14h
comment A coffee to go…( for syntax experts)
@Edwin: I suppose by "surface structure" you mean they both contain the words to go, but I see little similarity in terms of syntactic structure there. On the other hand, Araucaria apparently sees some significant difference between "A coffee to go [with me, because I'm not going to drink it here]" and "A pizza to share [between us, because we're too poor/not hungry enough to want one each]". Those seem pretty similar to me - I think the exact prepositions used in the "extended" forms are largely irrelevant.