42,981 reputation
7116203
bio website nohat.net
location San Jose, CA
age 34
visits member for 4 years, 3 months
seen 2 days 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.


Nov
20
revised Why “unequal” but “inequality”?
+link to wikipedia for blocking
Nov
16
comment The relationship between negative numbers and moral negatives
Do you have any examples?
Nov
15
awarded  Good Answer
Nov
13
comment A subset of our services were/was? Grammar
@p.s.w.g Indeed, though the first example is one of plural "total", another collective noun singular in form but plural in construction.
Nov
13
revised A subset of our services were/was? Grammar
added 439 characters in body
Nov
13
answered A subset of our services were/was? Grammar
Nov
6
comment What is the difference between “to view” and “to see”?
@SrJoven, I agree you can have a look and you can't have a see, but you can have look-see
Nov
4
comment “Theater” vs. “Theatre” in American English
@Mari-LouA change "graph" to "chart" in the URL and you will get a static image, with the legend at the top
Oct
26
awarded  Nice Answer
Oct
17
comment Is sunsetted a valid word?
It depends on what you think makes a usage of a word valid.
Oct
17
revised “Theater” vs. “Theatre” in American English
deleted 5 characters in body
Oct
16
revised “Theater” vs. “Theatre” in American English
added 4 characters in body
Oct
15
answered “Theater” vs. “Theatre” in American English
Oct
15
revised “License” and “licence”
add ngram
Oct
15
comment “License” and “licence”
@philclowes for what it's worth, the British National Corpus includes only published texts from 1980-1993, which is just on the cusp of when use of spelling checkers started to become ubiquitous. I'd wager that the bulk of the texts in the BNC was produced without the use of spelling checkers.
Oct
15
comment Why is ‘i’ in milk pronounced differently from ‘i’ in find?
@JohnLawler,@tchrist I know you guys don't like these questions, but I love them and the interesting, subtle facts we can learn from the fabulous answers we get, as Janus's here. Sure, many people don't intuit the primacy of spoken language, but to dismiss these questions because the askers have a misunderstanding is short-sighted. To say that they all have the same answer is empirically false, and, with all due respect, there is a complex relationship between English spelling and pronunciation. Pronouncements implying that they are utterly orthogonal are manifestly wanting.
Oct
7
answered What really is a “Yester” in Yesterday or Yesteryear?
Oct
7
comment Can [gi] sound be at the end of an English word?
I guess there's also Alec Baldwin's character from "30 Rock", Jack Donaghy, pronounced /ˈdɒnəɡiː/
Oct
7
comment How to do you pronounce Ouroboros?
... One could argue that the MOP is not applicable to intervocalic /r/s, making alternative (c) superior to the original. But, my native speaker intuition is that the stressed antepenult is "ROB" not "OB". And yes, I know that "ROB" makes the penult onsetless, but the tendency for stressed short vowels to "steal" ambisyllabic consonants for their codas is strong. In short, English syllabification is hard—and unsettled.
Oct
7
comment How to do you pronounce Ouroboros?
@Araucaria the stress is marked before the first /r/, indicating /r/ is not part of the initial vowel—it's an unstressed THOUGHT rather than NORTH. It does seem inconsistent, but the alternatives are (a) to have a lone /ɔ/ without length mark as the first syllable (ɔˈr) —but there is no short /ɔ/ in the system, (b) to mark two /r/s (/ɔrˈr/), which would seem to wrongly imply some kind of gemination (rather than ambisyllabicity), or (c) to mark the /r/ as part of the first syllable only, implying the second syllable is onsetless (/ɔrˈɒbɔrəs/), violating the maximum onset principle.