848 reputation
615
bio website somethinkodd.com/oddthinking
location Sydney, Australia
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visits member for 4 years, 2 months
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I'm a software developer (currently focused on Python), living in Australia (currently focused on Sydney).

I am an on-again/off-again moderator of Skeptics.SE. (I was Pro Tem Moderator, I handed in my diamond when the first elections were held, and then ran in the second elections about a year later.)


Jan
17
awarded  Yearling
Dec
26
comment Is asking for the “proper” use of the word “chemical” a case of linguistic prescriptivism?
There's a linguistics Stack Exchange? I am learning more and more.
Dec
26
comment Is asking for the “proper” use of the word “chemical” a case of linguistic prescriptivism?
@PeterShor: Uh, an apple is not a chemical. It is made of a mixture of chemicals. Saying an apple does not contain chemicals just because they were never purified is an unconventional usage of the term. We are definitely off-topic now.
Dec
26
comment Is asking for the “proper” use of the word “chemical” a case of linguistic prescriptivism?
@AlanMunn: You are a linguist? Oh! looks embarrassed I should have probably just taken your word for it.
Dec
26
comment Is asking for the “proper” use of the word “chemical” a case of linguistic prescriptivism?
@Peter: We are getting off topic here, but chemical (as a noun) is short for chemical substance. Wikipedia draws a definition from the Compendium of Chemical Terminology: "In chemistry, a chemical substance is a form of matter that has constant chemical composition and characteristic properties. It cannot be separated into components by physical separation methods, i.e. without breaking chemical bonds. It can be solid, liquid, gas, or plasma." It is NOT the same as "molecule" (e.g. metals are chemicals, but not made of molecules).
Dec
26
comment Is asking for the “proper” use of the word “chemical” a case of linguistic prescriptivism?
@Edwin: I agree that I am looking for clarity on the meaning of "prescriptivist", and so I am asking here to hear from the experts. While scientists do argue, they don't argue much about the definition of "chemical" or "chemical substance"; they have reached a broad consensus; I am hoping the linguists have too for "prescriptivist".
Dec
26
comment Is asking for the “proper” use of the word “chemical” a case of linguistic prescriptivism?
@Edwin: Your first couple of sentences take us on a wild goose chase. That is not the problematical usage of "chemical". The noun form indicating artificial additive is the controversial one.
Dec
26
asked Is asking for the “proper” use of the word “chemical” a case of linguistic prescriptivism?
Dec
14
comment “What ever happened to” versus “Whatever happened to”?
2500 views and I am the only upvoter for this excellent answer? Please give this answer some upvote love!
Dec
14
awarded  Notable Question
Sep
24
awarded  Autobiographer
Jul
19
awarded  Notable Question
Jul
18
awarded  Popular Question
Jul
14
accepted Is “doesn't count for squat” an impolite phrase?
Jul
14
awarded  Curious
Jul
13
revised How did nominal come to mean “within acceptable tolerances”?
added 4 characters in body
Jul
13
comment How did nominal come to mean “within acceptable tolerances”?
Seems quite a jump. Imagine if the announcer said "Power is insignificantly small." (Which doesn't mean your answer is wrong, but I would appreciate evidence.)
Jul
13
asked How did nominal come to mean “within acceptable tolerances”?
Jul
11
answered Is it OK to say “There is no problem if you do it next week.”?
Jul
9
answered Word/name for rhetorical technique to give appearance of expertise where none exists?