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Jun
16
comment Word for going to a university class but without being enrolled?
There’s also a common practice of showing up to a full class in hopes of getting an “add” so that you can fully enroll. I am not aware of a word for that particular situation, though.
Apr
25
comment “This box of matches is empty”
Of indicates the genitive case, which includes many relationships, including composition and compounds. Dictionaries don’t get into that kind of subtlety, usage and style guides do.
Apr
25
comment “This box of matches is empty”
@EdwinAshworth This is probably something that varies by dialect. See the discussion under the question itself. Some native speakers find it weird, while others seem to prefer it. I don’t think any native speaker would find it incomprehensible; do you? It’s definitely not a grammatical error, as the syntax is fine.
Apr
24
comment “This box of matches is empty”
@EdwinAshworth “Empty bottle of milk” is fine. Just “bottle of milk” alone is likely to lead down the garden path unless the context makes it obvious that it’s an empty milk bottle.
Dec
16
comment Who originated “Merry Christmas”?
possible duplicate of Why is it “Merry” Christmas, but “Happy” New Year?
Dec
3
comment What is the English synonym for the German word “Sparmeister”?
This question appears to be off-topic because it is about “Translation and non-English languages”.
Nov
10
comment Why was Tokyo sometimes called “Tokio”?
It's implied, but for folks who don't already know Japanese it's easy to misunderstand the difference between Japanese kyo-o and English ki-yo. Not sure how important that is, just thought you might want to be more explicit in comparing the two.
Nov
10
comment Why was Tokyo sometimes called “Tokio”?
One subtlety that's easy to overlook here is that not only does Tokyo have more "syllables" in Japanese, they're also split up differently. The Japanese is roughly To-oh-kyo-oh, rather than the Toh-ki-oh common in English.
Sep
9
comment Why is it that Frisian is considered the closest related language to English?
@JanusBahsJacquet I replaced the bogus factoid with some stuff that is hopefully more accurate!
Aug
25
comment What is the meaning of “A.C. or D.C.?”
There’s a notable use in the Sweet song “AC/DC” which has been covered by Joan Jett in 2006 and Vince Neil in 2010.
Aug
25
comment Numeric abbreviations in business quotes
As Patrick M notes in his answer to my question, M and K actually are ambiguous in some contexts and require more than a general reference to explain.
Aug
25
comment Numeric abbreviations in business quotes
Thanks for pointing that out! I'd never heard of it. Since it appears to be technical jargon rooted in Latin, it might still be off topic, but it's good to have the information. Maybe I'll edit my answer if I have time.
Aug
15
comment 'Enjoy the rest of your day'. What is the name for such expressions?
Parting phrases are usually called valedictions rather than salutations, but I suppose that either word could fit here.
Aug
15
comment 'Enjoy the rest of your day'. What is the name for such expressions?
The pleasantries at the ends of letters (“Sincerely yours”) are also valedictions. The greetings at the beginning are called salutations.
Jul
18
comment How to understand these verses from the poem “The road not taken” by Robert Frost
I've heard that Frost wrote this poem to tease a friend who was very indecisive, and so it's meant to be taken literally, except for the last line which is sarcastic.
Jun
11
comment What do you call someone who is so inappropriate that they are appropriate?
I know a few people like this. Some are seen as charming/funny, some merely tolerated. +1
Jun
7
comment Origin of “riff”
Wow, thank you for the excellent review of the available evidence! The verb/gerund examples are especially interesting, as they imply a somewhat different meaning than the word has now. Thanks!
Jun
7
comment Origin of “riff”
That seems plausible. Any references you may have would be useful, although I understand that they're often problematic when it comes to jazz jargon.
Jun
7
comment Origin of “riff”
@rhetorician Yes, that’s one of the possibilities mentioned in the question. I’m more interested in the evidence backing each of the options and whether any of it is potentially conclusive.
Jun
7
comment Origin of “riff”
@JohnLawler I agree – and there’s a pretty good discussion of some of that in the references linked from my question, like the bit on other artists “riffing.” I’m just hoping that there might be something more solid in literature or less accessible references.