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Feb
25
comment What happened to the “‑est” and “‑eth” verb suffixes in English?
-eth didn't get replaced randomly. The northern dialects had -es even in the early Middle English period. It spread southward and replaced -eth during the later Middle English and Early Modern English period.
Dec
27
comment What happened first: “ye”/“you” merging to “you”, or “thou”/“thee” falling ou of common use?
There's nothing technically incorrect in this post, but it doesn't really answer the question of how the object form "you" could come to supplant "ye" when the subject-object distinction has been maintained in other pronouns (even if only redundantly).
Dec
27
comment “That was me” vs. “That was I”
@Susan: there is no noun case in English (regular nouns have a single case often called "common"), but there is limited case for pronouns: subject, object, possessive. Not even all pronouns show a distinction between subject and object. The non-personal pronouns show no case, and among the personal pronouns "it" and "you" show no subject-object distinction. So that leaves only a handful of pronouns with any subject-object distinction, and in all situations, it's entirely redundant, which explains why people started confusing the forms. Case is dead in English.
Oct
14
awarded  Critic
Oct
14
comment The + vowel sound
This is not an answer. The comment by Talia Ford actually answers the question.
Oct
11
comment make sure + subjunctive
The use of the subjunctive doesn't always line up with the distinction of hypothetical vs. non-hypothetical. For example, "I ask the he remain here" uses the subjunctive, but is more or less a demand, rather than a musing about a possible future state (or rather, it's no less hypothetical than any other future construction).
Sep
28
comment Any connection between -dom (kingdom) and dharma?
While the initial consonant could be a match, there is no relationship between /r/ and /m/ in the history of English. See also etymonline: etymonline.com/…
Sep
19
comment There is/are + articles
You can say "there are the books that you wanted", but it doesn't have quite the same meaning.
Sep
11
awarded  Teacher
Sep
11
answered The use of “actually” and “whatsoever”
Sep
9
comment What is the proper usage of “Y'all” in southern American dialects
To add to this: much of the French and especially Latinate vocabulary that has been so characteristic of English was added much later than the Norman invasion, especially during the Renaissance. When other languages turned to their own roots and stems to build new vocabulary for the new age, English turned to Latin, Greek and some French.
Sep
9
comment When and how did “pretty” enter English as an intensifying adverb?
@TrevorD: "to the Norman invasion in 1066."
Sep
8
comment Pronunciation of final T sounds in English
In addition to what John Lawler said, some dialects of English convert final /t/ (and even some other final voiceless stops) into glottal stops or drop them altogether.
Sep
7
comment Why are words ending in “-um” and “-us” pluralized to end in “-a” and “-i”, respectively?
@tchrist: if we were speaking Latin, which we aren't, so it's not a perfectly fine form in the singular.
Sep
5
comment Why would the “wind blowing in the East” be considered a bad thing?
@user8568: which, again, is something specific to Lake Erie and not the whole world.
Sep
5
comment Are the terms “welsh” or “welch” (as in reneging on a bet) derogatory toward the Welsh people?
This sounds like one of those urban legend etymologies.
Sep
2
comment What are all the words that make up a complete list of linking verbs in English?
@EdwinAshworth: so you think a sentence like "I smell a rat" or "I smell something good cooking in the kitchen" are not valid English?
Sep
1
comment What are all the words that make up a complete list of linking verbs in English?
@EdwinAshworth: I don't think that disagrees with what I wrote. Note that there is no meaning of "smell" that is equivalent to the nominal copula "be". You can say "John is a man", but you can't say "John smells a man" (unless you are meaning to say that he is noticing the smell of some other man).
Sep
1
comment “to day” or “to date”?
While "today" does technically come from "to" + "day", the meaning of "to" in this phrase was something more like "at" or "on", which is no longer valid in Modern English.
Sep
1
comment What are all the words that make up a complete list of linking verbs in English?
In regard to linking verbs, note that verbs like "smell" can be regular transitive verbs, or they can take a predicate adjective: "this smells good", which makes them similar to, but not the same as true copulas.