44,373 reputation
8122205
bio website nohat.net
location San Jose, CA
age 35
visits member for 4 years, 7 months
seen 17 hours ago

Full disclosure: I have a degree in linguistics, and so I am partial to descriptivist approaches to questions of usage. For me, assertions of correctness or incorrectness that are not reflective of actual usage are highly questionable.

I am a native speaker of American English.

My real name is David Friedland and my e-mail address is david.friedland@gmail.com. Feel free to contact me directly.


Mar
13
comment Name of a foreigner from Earth?
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthling
Mar
10
comment Does this sound natural?
Why do you think the use of apostrophes is incorrect?
Mar
3
revised How can I reliably and accurately identify the passive voice in writing or speech?
thematically unify examples
Mar
3
comment How can I reliably and accurately identify the passive voice in writing or speech?
@F.E. OK, OK, I have added more details about the exceptions.
Mar
3
revised How can I reliably and accurately identify the passive voice in writing or speech?
add more notes about exceptions, with links to Wikipedia
Mar
2
revised How can I reliably and accurately identify the passive voice in writing or speech?
added 43 characters in body
Feb
16
awarded  Good Answer
Feb
15
awarded  Enlightened
Feb
15
awarded  Nice Answer
Jan
29
comment To hyphen or not: cat person-turned-dog person vs. cat person turned dog person
(This is the correct answer, not the accepted one) Also, you only need to hyphenate compound adjectives when used attributively. Even if these were compound adjectives, you wouldn't hyphenate them as such when used predicatively. e.g. "These free-range chickens are hand fed." vs. "These hand-fed chickens are free range"
Jan
26
comment Is the 'unmarked'/standard/basic form called the oblique/objective case?
Is the question whether me/her/him/us/them can be called "oblique case" or whether me/her/him/us/them are really the unmarked form for pronouns in English?
Jan
25
awarded  Famous Question
Jan
15
comment Do the words “jail” and “prison” refer to different things?
@LittleEva thank you for your comments. Your point about administer vs. operate is well-taken, as is your point about prison vs. jail; though I would only respond that for any thing, it is always the case that distinctions are more important to people who deal directly with things than to people for whom they are often just abstract ideas.
Jan
4
answered Why is “be” here? People be like
Jan
2
awarded  Guru
Jan
2
awarded  Nice Answer
Dec
27
awarded  Good Answer
Dec
17
comment Do lexicographers have a formal term for Insta-cant
@TRomano how is the realm new? How is this not just an example of recency illusion? Is there evidence that there is something actually novel going on, or just a minor shift in how trends spread?
Dec
16
comment Do lexicographers have a formal term for Insta-cant
So is the need for a new name for slang that it's spread by written word rather than spoken word, or that it is fast ("insta-")?
Dec
16
comment Do lexicographers have a formal term for Insta-cant
Slang has always been mostly ephemeral. I'm not sure there is evidence supporting a qualitative difference in how it works in contemporary society than how it used to work. Probably just yet another example of the recency illusion.