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  • 17 votes cast
Jan
29
comment Term or phrase describing action occuring when not watching
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the word "quantum". This would sort of be anti-quantum: the event only occurs (exists) when you don't look for it.
Nov
21
comment What is the moon zenith called?
Believe it or not, the moon can culminate without reaching it's zenith. Reason: the moon's declination changes fairly rapidly, so the moon's elevation/altitude can continue increasing after culmination. (see astronomy.stackexchange.com/questions/937 for details)
Nov
21
comment What is the moon zenith called?
If you ask google to "define zenith" google.com/search?q=define+zenith it gives "the highest point reached by a celestial or other object" as the first definition and yours as the 2nd definition. Even as an (amateur) astronomer, I've used zenith to mean highest point, not overhead.
Sep
19
comment To what reading level does a specific word like 'verbose' belong?
Another way to use wiktionary to find reading level. Visit the word, then click "what links here": en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Special:WhatLinksHere/verbose If you scroll down a bit, you'll see a link to en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionary:Frequency_lists/PG/2006/04/… which further shows its one of the 22401st-22500th most popular words in the language.
Sep
19
comment To what reading level does a specific word like 'verbose' belong?
The scowl database wordlist.sourceforge.net also ranks words by difficulty level. "Verbose" is level 20, 394ec01c0d122f63ebd7f0ce82413c15.scowl.db.barrycarter.info the second lowest level.
Jul
24
comment What is the name of the ambiguity in the phrase “I want to visit clubs with attractive women”?
Aren't those unambiguous solely due to context? If someone was studying English purely grammatically and didn't know what "brother" or "beers" meant, this could still be ambiguous?
Jul
18
comment Is ”If I leave, it’s because Bob has arrived” ambiguous?
@KristinaLopez Thank you! That's the meaning I had in mind when I said it... now let's see if others agree.
Jan
21
comment What is a good word for “best example”?
the "canonical example"?
Jan
16
comment Can we call something a “word” if it doesn't have a vowel?
What is the second letter of the English alphabet? What letter often represents a percentage score of 80-89? What's the first letter of the words 'bee'? The word 'B' may not be acceptable in Scrabble, but it's definitely a word. 'nth' is probably the most commonly used example of a vowel-less word
Jan
16
comment Can we call something a “word” if it doesn't have a vowel?
In Welsh words like cwn and cwm, I would argue that w is a vowel.
Jul
9
comment Why are clothes “hung” but men “hanged”?
Terry Pratchett does a version of this joke, also making fun of 'drawn' and 'quartered'.
Nov
11
comment Word meaning “the act of intending to do nothing”
Has no one mentioned "laissez-faire" (in its original French sense) yet? I sometimes refer to it as lazy/fair, because that's my opinion of its effect on the economy (lazy government = do nothing = fair).
Nov
6
comment Did the word “evolution” exist before Darwinism?
I thought Darwin called it "descent with modification"?
Oct
21
comment How to say “I must nothing” on a t-shirt
A giant Greek letter phi.
Oct
21
comment Word for “all the groups an item belongs to”?
The concept of "transitive closure" or "reachability" may apply here.
Sep
11
comment Does “split” necessarily mean 50/50?
I think that would be "split in halves". Since "split in two" means "split into two pieces", wouldn't "split in half" mean "split into half pieces", which doesn't quite seem correct.
Sep
11
comment Does “split” necessarily mean 50/50?
Actually, is 'split in half' valid or should it be 'split in two'? (snarky mathematician comment!)
May
5
comment Largest open-source dictionary w/ brief definitions (not wiktionary)
wordlist.sourceforge.net
Apr
7
comment “Upper-case” is to “capital” as “lowercase” is to what?
Computer geeks informally say "no caps"
Mar
25
comment Gender-independent replacement for “fiancée” and “fiancé”
@Kosmonaut How about bride/groom? (not "spouse", since that's after they're married).