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Jan
30
comment What's in native speakers' mind when they use different verb forms?
@FindingNemo: I understand what you mean, and of course the Cantonese accent quite different. But it is an example of something that you do subconsciously (picking the right accent for the right meaning) but that would take me a (huge) conscious effort. To me, two words sound the same if the only difference between them is the tone. // You say "aware": all this happens subconciously. But, yes, the other forms of the verb are readily available when I think of a certain form of the same verb.
Jan
30
comment What's in native speakers' mind when they use different verb forms?
It just pops out. And we will instinctively sense something wrong if you use the wrong tense. Isn't it the same, conversely, if I use the wrong word or the wrong tonal accent in Cantonese in a conversation with you?
Jan
30
revised Can something be more unique than something else? Can something be very unique?
added 169 characters in body
Jan
29
answered Can something be more unique than something else? Can something be very unique?
Jan
29
comment Can't Understand Sentence Containing Word “Keep The Difference”
It would have been slightly less confusing if he had used a comma: go ahead and keep the difference, to be applied to the next round of work you do for us.
Jan
29
comment Restrictions on including TO BE in “the only one [to be] X”
@FumbleFingers: Haha, I know what's it's like to stumble upon a text wall...which is why many academic articles now have abstracts. I do feel that there is still one problem with my explanation; I think I have the solution, but it requires some more thinking.
Jan
29
revised Restrictions on including TO BE in “the only one [to be] X”
added 41 characters in body
Jan
29
revised Restrictions on including TO BE in “the only one [to be] X”
added 41 characters in body
Jan
29
revised Restrictions on including TO BE in “the only one [to be] X”
added 384 characters in body
Jan
29
answered Restrictions on including TO BE in “the only one [to be] X”
Jan
29
comment What do you call a murderer who burns their victims alive?
@deadrat: True, it is mainly and originally about (throat)-cutting. But I believe it is also used for any kind of killing, see under 5: archimedes.fas.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/… The main reason why I mentioned -sphagist is that people might not like -phonist, which can be confused with phon- "voice".
Jan
29
comment What do you call a murderer who burns their victims alive?
@deadrat: Yes, but this is a sphagist, an entirely different root. The Greek roots for murder are phon- (oddly near-identical with the root for "voice, sound"), and less frequently sphag-.
Jan
29
comment What do you call a murderer who burns their victims alive?
@JackGraveney: I have invented them, based on the proper rules of adaptation from Greek (both in form and in meaning). It shouldn't come as a surprise that no such word existed yet!
Jan
28
comment What do you call a murderer who burns their victims alive?
A zoopyrist, someone who burns the living. An anthropopyrist, someone who burns people. A pyrosphagist/pyrophonist, someone who murders with fire.
Jan
28
comment Why is the transliteration of names so strange at the beginning of Genesis?
I think this is an excellent question about the etymology of frequently used English words. The etymology of any English word will necessarily involve other languages; this is of no consequence. Those who complain about the topicality of questions such as this should reconsider their perspective.
Jan
27
comment The sentence from a Hotel Transylvania
I agree! Until next time!
Jan
26
comment Abbreviation of “Street”
@choster: I think it is a good question; we just may not have the answer. In almost all abbreviations, one can point out where the letters came from. In Videlicet, the z represents -et. In ME, the E is presumably the final letter of Maine.
Jan
26
comment The sentence from a Hotel Transylvania
Sure, that is unusual: it is a kind of (soft) metaphor. But that is mainly about meaning, not structure.
Jan
25
comment The sentence from a Hotel Transylvania
Oh, I think you are misinterpreting the sentence, then. That = the current, difficult situation or plea. Asking = demanding. A lot = many things. And you should add [of you]. That situation is demanding many things of you = the situation is very demanding for you. There is nothing passive about it; it's just that there is no person asking anything, but the situation or plea is (metaphorically) asking you to do many things. Ask acquires a meaning like require.
Jan
25
comment How does “to consist in” mean “to have as an essential feature”?
@LePressentiment: I'm still not sure I understand. But I wouldn't pay too much attention the exact wording of a dictionary definition: it is usually less precise; it is rather meant to give you a general idea. The Oxford English Dictionary has a more detailed and pehaps better definition, with to have its being in as a basis: pastebin.com/vaq8AW84