75,293 reputation
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bio website english.stackexchange.com/…
location United Kingdom
age 60
visits member for 3 years, 4 months
seen 8 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.


Apr
11
comment Does “In the event of …” take the genitive case?
@Neil, tchrist: All true, but the specific context being queried is more about whether we're using the following -ing form as a "gerund noun" (with a preceding "possessive" form) or as "verb participle" (preceded by a simple noun or "object pronoun"). The one permutation we don't use is "[non-pro-]noun + [non-gerund] noun", so nobody ever makes plans for in the event of the king death.
Apr
11
comment Reciprocal of “conformant”
But accordant isn't the "reciprocal" (opposite meaning) of conformant! It's effectively just a far less common synonym.
Apr
11
revised Does “In the event of …” take the genitive case?
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Apr
11
comment Is this a good structure? 'the knowledge on how to combine'
Contrary to @Ronan, I doubt any native speakers would use those exact words. The closest acceptable version I can come up with is provide me with knowledge of how to [blah, blah] (i.e. - ditch the article, and replace on with of). But there are probably many better ways of expressing much the same thing with completely different constructions.
Apr
11
comment Is there a word for the 'pitter patter' of speech?
@choster: Maybe. I should say that I don't accept OP's idea that you can identify the sound of "sporting event" hubbub as opposed to, say, the background chatter at some other crowd gathering. There might well be a distinctive pattern to the sound of the crowd at a baseball game, but that would probably be more similar to the audience at magician's show than the crowd at a long-distant running event, for example.
Apr
11
comment “Asked my height” or “asked of my height”?
It really depends on the specific thing being queried. At one end of the spectrum are words like height, age. Personally, I'd place nationality, preference somewhere in the middle. At the other end are things like health (I'm not sure anyone would say "He asked my health", for example).
Apr
11
answered Is there a word for the 'pitter patter' of speech?
Apr
11
answered Does “In the event of …” take the genitive case?
Apr
11
comment With something is ~ - grammatical construction
You should use within the process of normalization are [blah, blah] if you're determined to have that construction. Though personally I'd rather say the process of normalization consists of a number of steps...
Apr
10
comment “As of this morning” vs. “as at this morning”
@kolossus: Absolutely. IE "endorses" various idiomatic usages that wouldn't pass in (sometimes, today's) AmE or BrE. See this excellent answer re I have a doubt, do the needful, etc. Not all differences will necessarily survive (Indians adopted into the UK certainly tend to ditch them), but it's a pretty self-sustaining "dialect" in the sub-continent itself.
Apr
10
revised Are there metaphoric English expressions meaning “keeping composure at a fatal moment, never panicky”?
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Apr
10
comment Fitting word for “subject to physics” or possibly “subject to laws”
I'm not clear on what OP wants his target word to mean, but it seems to me the subject is perhaps being muddied by the "figurative" expression subject to [the laws of] physics. It seems to me that in most contexts it's more useful to say physical phenomena reflect or manifest the laws of physics. They have no "wish" to do otherwise, so they're not really "constrained" or "limited" by the principles we anthropomorphise as "laws".
Apr
10
revised Are there metaphoric English expressions meaning “keeping composure at a fatal moment, never panicky”?
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Apr
10
comment Which noun does an Adjective associate with of
I don't see how you can say really old in #1 "associates" with me. If I say "Here's a really old picture of the king" surely it's obvious the thing which is "really old" is the picture, not the king. It would be completely different if I said "Here's a picture of the really old king". In both of your examples, "of me" simply qualifies the picture - in a different way to those adjectives that come before "picture", but also modify the same word.
Apr
10
comment “As of this morning” vs. “as at this morning”
@Josh: I see no downvote (whoever it was must have cancelled it). But I've corrected the claim that your examples are from OED - they're both from Oxford University Publications, but the real OED is a very different animal (you normally need a subscription, but for this week only, it's free). Check it out while you still can!
Apr
10
revised “As of this morning” vs. “as at this morning”
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Apr
10
comment “As of this morning” vs. “as at this morning”
Good question! I must admit "acceptable" usages in Indian English trip me up more than those cases where AmE differs from Bre. The problem being we have to accept that whereas some Indian usages are in fact "grammatical" according to the conventions of some who are effectively "native speakers", many others are really just "mistakes". In AmE we often try to get round some "native speaker errors" by classifying them as "valid in AAVE" - but that's usually "degenerate", whereas some Indian usages aren't really like that (they may be just "archaic" to me).
Apr
10
comment “As of this morning” vs. “as at this morning”
Bear in mind there's no "grammatical principle" which could possibly rule for or against any of several possible prepositions here. The best you can do is find out what most native speakers actually prefer to use (which may have changed over time). It may interest you to know that Google Books claims 456 written instances of "but as of next year", and 39 instances using from. But there are no written instances of "but as at next year". I assume both you and your colleague are not native speakers - if you were, you probably wouldn't be discussing at at all.
Apr
10
comment “As of this morning” vs. “as at this morning”
@kolossus: You can always find examples of "incorrect" usage on the whole Internet. Sometimes from people who do actually know better, but have simply made a slip-up (or deliberately trampled over established usage for some other reason). But there's a lot of "English" text on the Internet these days which is primarily "wrong" because it was produced by non-native speakers. In your own comment above, for example, you've just written outrightly wrong. It would be "outright wrong" to cite that as an example supporting the idea that such a usage is "valid".
Apr
10
comment “As of this morning” vs. “as at this morning”
At is never used in such contexts. Idiomatically, of is more common, but from can also be used. Personally I have deep misgivings about what seems to me to be something of a "tense clash" in OP's example caused by the juxtaposition of this and was. I'd much rather see either that or is, depending on the exact meaning intended.