41,363 reputation
7109193
bio website nohat.net
location San Jose, CA
age 34
visits member for 3 years, 11 months
seen 1 hour 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.


Jul
20
comment Shouldn’t we use “lots of” with plural nouns and “a lot of” with singular ones?
What would make something 'correct' or 'incorrect'?
Jul
20
comment When is it appropriate to end a sentence in a preposition?
@user3847 Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.
Jul
17
comment use of being in a sentence
This answer glosses over the original question's point of confusion, which is that the "willing" in "willing to come" is not the present participle of the verb "will", but a separate word "willing" which is an adjective meaning here "inclined or favorably disposed in mind". To be clear, "I am willing to come" is not the present progressive of "I will to come" (which is not grammatical in modern English), but something more like "I am inclined to come" or "I am happy to come".
Jul
17
comment Are there any words in English pronounced with /eː/ which aren't spelt with a following “r”?
FWIW, in standard American English, the vowel of "yeah" is /æ/, the same as in "cat".
Jul
16
comment How do you pronounce “lithe”?
Live ends in a /v/ sound, as in "have". Lithe ends in a /ð/ sound, like "breathe".
Jul
16
revised Should we avoid a “double passive”?
"to be build" -> "to be built"
Jul
15
comment Is it valid to use “literally” to mean “actually” when composing a hyperbole?
@medica it's the same kind of nonsense as asserting that using 'literally' hyperbolically is "error"—the kind of nonsense you get when you buy into the Etymological Fallacy.
Jul
14
comment Is it valid to use “literally” to mean “actually” when composing a hyperbole?
I think it's important to remember that unless you are talking about words exactly matching other words, then it's a metaphorical use of the word "literally". The word 'literally' doesn't literally mean 'literally'—it only means 'literally' metaphorically.
Jul
3
comment Meaning - 'the sword and the purse'
see also en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metonomy
Jul
2
awarded  Curious
Jul
2
comment Why does binomial nomenclature seem to break case rules?
@krowe if you understand this point, it's very unclear from your question, which seems to be asking why one rule of English is incongruous with the rules of English. Do you mean to ask "why is this rule incongruous with the other rules?" Or do you mean to ask "why is this rule, which I don't regard as part of the rules of English, incongruous with the actual rules of English?" If the former, you need to make the question say so clearly. If the latter, your question makes an assumption which is wrong and can only be answered by explaining the wrong assumption.
Jul
2
comment Why does binomial nomenclature seem to break case rules?
@krowe Reg's point is that if users of language X exhibit behavior Y when using X, then behavior Y is by definition not incongruous with the rules of language X—indeed, behavior Y is necessarily part of the rules of language X
Jul
1
comment 'Animus' — negative connotation?
@JanusBahsJacquet well, "insufferably" only has 65 incidences.... :-D
Jul
1
awarded  Good Answer
Jul
1
comment 'Animus' — negative connotation?
@JanusBahsJacquet I was preparing an answer to this question but this one was just as good as mine would have been. I found in COCA that of over 300 incidences of "animus" maybe 2 or 3 of them meant "animating force/motivation". The rest were clearly negatively-connotated and meant "negative feeling". The term has been used frequently in recent years in legal rulings concerning laws against same-sex marriage, and the term is reused in popular coverage of those rulings.
Jun
28
awarded  Guru
Jun
26
comment “Soccer mom”: why soccer?
@Mari-LouA sorry I was unclear. I meant that in the U.S., (and this is changing, but), the mainstream place of soccer is as a distinctively middle- and upper-middle-class enrichment activity for children, not a serious major sport. The idea of "soccer mom" plays directly into that idea that it's about status and focusing on family and children, rather than it being about the sport itself. I think being a class marker is the core of the term "soccer mom"
Jun
26
comment “Soccer mom”: why soccer?
Also, I think it misses the main point of "soccer mom"-hood. Unlike in many countries, where soccer is the primary sporting activity of the poor/underclass, in the U.S., the whole 'soccer mom' concept of soccer being a popular sport is that it is mainly played by middle class children whose parents think of it as a kind of enrichment activity to be mixed in with piano lessons and the like. Generally speaking it is expected that top athlete boys will give up the sport for another such as football by the time they reach high school.
Jun
26
comment “Soccer mom”: why soccer?
The problem with this answer is that the first paragraph, while not strictly wrong, is misleading in that it seems to imply that the term "soccer" was invented in the U.S. because the term "football" was already used for a different sport, which is entirely not the case.
Jun
23
comment How to pronounce “linearly”?
@RobertDailey I gave an answer using 4 of the most common systems for marking pronunciation, in that hope that if you were familiar with any system, you'd be familiar with one of them. In case you weren't, I also included links for each system to a page which explains it. I'm not sure what kind of answer you would expect to a question asking "how to pronounce <X>" that doesn't use some system of writing pronunciation.