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seen Dec 5 '12 at 10:56

Native English and Welsh speaker, enthusiastic learner of Flemish/Dutch, French, German, and occasionally Italian.

My doctorate is in medieval English. I taught as a college lecturer in Oxford for about five years, before taking a position as a researcher in the field of English linguistic history with a major publisher. I now spend my days hunting down words, and my evenings with music, books, art, cooking, and all that lovely stuff.


Nov
13
awarded  Yearling
May
10
awarded  Nice Answer
Nov
27
comment Is “my place” correct and common in British English?
I'd qualify Will Hunting's response, and say that "my place" is an informal way of saying "the place where I currently live", and that a more formal alternative would have to be context-specific - "my house", "my flat", "my apartment", depending on the type of place in which you live. "My residence" is not just formal, it's pretty much archaic in anything other than technical language, or as a joke.
Nov
20
awarded  Nice Answer
Nov
19
revised Is it “thousands of postmen and women” or “thousands of postmen and -women”?
Added U.S. variant.
Nov
19
comment Is it “thousands of postmen and women” or “thousands of postmen and -women”?
@FeralOink: "mailcarriers" doesn't work in British English, where "postal workers" would be the commonest gender-neutral term, so it just depends on the OP's audience. But I take your point - a "postal worker" could also refer to someone who works in the office, not just to someone who carries the post, so "mailcarrier" feels less ambiguous.
Nov
19
answered Is it “thousands of postmen and women” or “thousands of postmen and -women”?
Nov
16
comment “In” vs. “out of”
@PeterShor: I guess that, because they base their definitions on evidence of usage, they just didn't find enough evidence of its use in formal American writing yet. I can imagine that changing pretty quickly, given how widespread you say the use now is. But perhaps someone should write in and question the tag?
Nov
16
comment Is this 'as' a conjunction?
Hmmm... Interesting. I've certainly seen it often-ish in online ESL materials, but not having an ESL background myself my knowledge is second-hand. I wonder whether it's just a way of simplifying the terminology of "relative clause"? If the two are synonymous, of course, "as he called them" would not count as an "adjective clause" because it is not a relative clause.
Nov
16
revised Is this 'as' a conjunction?
Clarificiation
Nov
16
comment Is this 'as' a conjunction?
I meant "school" in a general sense - one view of grammar, or one way of looking at grammar, if you like. You'll find the term "adjective clause" in ESL teaching, in particular. From memory, I believe it's usually used of relative clauses modifying nouns, but this special type of "as-clause" could also be interpreted in the same way because it's a subordinate clause that modifies a noun. I've edited my answer to clarify. Thanks for the input!
Nov
16
awarded  Nice Answer
Nov
16
answered Is this 'as' a conjunction?
Nov
16
answered Ironic phrase like Russian’s “no, didn’t hear”
Nov
16
revised “In” vs. “out of”
added 121 characters in body
Nov
16
comment “In” vs. “out of”
Well, my only response is to say that I took my information from a reputable source. OED tends to label words based on how the find them being used, so they must have had a reason to call it nonstandard, but I'm happy to bow to the users of American English on here who tell me that it's used in formal written American English. It's kind of a side-note to my answer anyway, since the point I made about "out" being an adverb in these constructions still stands! But I'll edit to reflect this discussion. Thanks everyone!
Nov
15
awarded  Commentator
Nov
15
comment “In” vs. “out of”
@StoneyB: that's really interesting to hear. As of the last update, OED disagrees with you, but I wouldn't be surprised to see them re-label at least the sense you mention, if not both senses, as "standard in American usage" (or something similar) sometime soon.
Nov
15
revised “In” vs. “out of”
Clarified meaning in first paragraph.
Nov
15
comment “In” vs. “out of”
Thanks for summarizing this, Barrie. All I would add (as I mentioned in my answer) is that complex prepositions are generally analyzed as consisting of adverb + preposition, and not preposition + preposition.