1,468 reputation
19
bio website garymcgath.com
location Nashua, NH
age
visits member for 1 year, 10 months
seen Jun 2 '13 at 19:09

I'm a professional software developer with a strong library background. My interests and skills include Java, digital preservation, XML, and file formats.


Sep
24
awarded  Autobiographer
Dec
10
awarded  Yearling
Jun
2
comment Can the acronym “R.N.A.” be used at the end of an e-mail?
As an incidental point, "R.N.A." is not an acronym but simply an abbreviation. An acronym is a word made from the first letters of words, e.g., "radar" for "radio detection and ranging." You're in the company of a lot of native speakers on this mistake, so don't feel too bad.
Jun
2
comment Looking for a good word that means “an open statement”
I'm not really sure what you mean by an "open statement." You say it's "a literary premise"; does that mean a premise for a work of fiction or something like that? "Cheese may be good for you" doesn't sound as if it would carry a literary work far.
May
31
comment What do you call the latter part of a sentence which spans two pages?
A "widow" is a single line at the top of a page when a paragraph is continued. An "orphan" is a single line at the bottom of the page that starts a paragraph. However, you're talking about the more general concept of a split paragraph, so those terms wouldn't fit. I'd just say the "continuation" of the paragraph.
May
31
comment Is the “will” in “can and will” necessary?
Perhaps it's presenting a worst-case scenario to cover themselves. If they use what the accused says, they can say, "We told you we'd use it!" If they don't, the accused isn't going to complain that they broke their promise.
May
29
comment Is the usage of 'personally' in 'I personally don't like something' redundant?
And verbal ticks are wordy arthropods; I think you mean tic.
May
26
comment Spaces for Ellipses
Is the Unicode Consortium now an authority on punctuation usage?
May
26
comment What is the word for a slime monster's movement?
No, no, "slime" is a transitive verb, describing what happens when the monster in motion collides with you. See Ghostbusters. :)
May
23
comment Correct phrase for “Chain of equations”
"Chain of equation" would be confusing. It made me first think of a series of equations leading to a result.
May
23
comment Is there any word for people who are strongly against artificial intelligence?
Using blanket words is useful when you want to stereotype people and avoid addressing their specific arguments, but not for actual understanding. Are you talking about people with religious objections to AI? People who think it will make humans useless, as in the story "With Folded Hands"? People who think it will let the rich and powerful control us all? These are all different concerns that may or may not be valid, and calling them all "technophobes" or "paranoid" just dismisses them without a need to address what they're saying.
May
23
comment Is a sentence beginning with “Different from” not so good?
I can't recall ever encountering "different to" in US English.
May
23
comment A pejorative term for “unreasonably gregarious”
I gave this a +1 because it seems there ought to be such a word. The best I can think of are words like "sheeple" and "herd," which apply to groups rather than the individuals that constitute them.
May
22
comment Etymology of “typeface Weight”
@JohnLawler — You clearly don't understand how movable type worked. Loose letter shapes would be impossible to line up. There's an illustration here that may help: sccc.premiumdw.com/web112/history-of-typography
May
22
comment Etymology of “typeface Weight”
@JohnLawler — Not by a lot. Metal type wasn't loose letter shapes, but letters raised up from a block, and the block had most of the weight.
May
22
answered “Feeling well” adverb ambiguity
May
22
comment I've been seeing good movies or I've been watching good movies?
I don't see any problem with the perfect tense. Adding "some" does make the expression sound more natural, though. To me, "I've been seeing some good movies" feels more natural than "I've recently seen some good movies," at least in conversation.
May
22
comment How to Construct an Unambiguous Joint Possessive that Follows a Verb?
I don't understand "Please don't answer with a recommendation that the construction be avoided." If someone's asking how to eat soup with a fork and I answer that a different utensil is needed, would you say I'm not helping to solve the problem of eating soup with a fork?
May
22
comment Etymology of “typeface Weight”
I can confirm from personal experience that the term "weight" has been used in this sense at least since the early days of computer layout. My guess is that it has more to do with the more ponderous look of bold type than with the slight difference in mass of the cast letters.
May
21
comment Word for a quote that was never actually said
@EdwinAshworth A fictional character named Sherlock Holmes certainly has said "Elementary, my dear Watson" (in the sense that fictional characters can say anything). It's Conan Doyle to whom it's misattributed, since his Holmes never said it.