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2d
comment A word to describe a London projects dweller
If you include housing association premises as well as council housing, this is called social housing
May
20
comment Why did Mother Teresa use the phrase “it is a poverty”?
I see nothing wrong with your suggestion of "it is a poor thing" and English not being her first language (or the first language of the people she talked to).
May
20
comment Did they say “hand job” in the 1800s?
"triangulate", at least as a survey term, would have been meaningful in the 1860s, such as this example
May
19
comment Why are there no irregular gerunds in English?
Is changing irregular? What about singeing?
May
15
comment If it was'nt / hadn't been for
Plural "were" or subjunctive "were"?
May
11
comment What's a correct expression for professions in which you do a lot of sitting?
You can run words together in English, but you are more likely to keep the spaces, as in back-friendly sitting positions. It reminds me of the British claim to excel at "sitting-down sports" such as cycling, rowing, sailing and equestrian.
May
2
comment Are 'short circuited' and 'short-circuited' both correct?
Hyphenations evolve, as do verbs. To me a battery can be shorted in a short circuit, but I would understand if somebody said it had been short-circuited, and I would not say they were wrong.
May
2
comment What is the meaning of “tank” in this sentence?
to fall hard and fast, in contrast to a soft or parachute landing
Apr
19
comment What is a word for “detaining without trial”?
The verb is intern (and so interning and interned) and is transitive - though there is the risk that somebody might now read it as unpaid training.
Apr
13
comment Why is there no plural indefinite article?
The Spanish plural unos/unas suggests that an English plural like ?ones/ans or (if it is an adjective and so did not decline) one/an/a might not be logically impossible
Apr
13
comment Word like “ancestors” or “ancestry line” which includes the initial subject?
If you show the ancestry of Henry VIII on Wikipedia (click on "show" on the right), it includes Henry as the child of his parents.
Mar
27
comment Is there an English idiom that means “you can always find a law to convict anyone”?
""Must be guilty of something" is what comes to my mind. There is AP Herbert's report of the case Rex v. Haddock where the Court of Appeal said "It is a principle of English law that a person who appears in a police court has done something undesirable" but sadly this is fictional. By contrast the real Scots law declaratory power allows the the court to declare behaviour to be criminal activity, even if it had not been previously defined as criminal.
Mar
12
comment Is there a word that means “multiply by ten”?
@DCShannon: You count to ten. Then push that individual off the cliff. Continue, restarting counting from one.
Mar
12
comment What is it called when a word is translated phonetically from a foreign language to English?
@WS2 Вокзал but the name was attributed to the pleasure gardens
Mar
11
comment Why isn’t the pronunciation of “though” anyhow close to the one of “tough”?
@Nicole also thorough and lough, the latter possibly being the original pronunciation of most of the others.
Mar
1
comment I've said it once, I've said it twice, I've said it a thousand times: English doesn't make sense
While twice may be more usual than two times, the reverse is the case with thrice and three times.
Feb
11
comment What's the difference between “blond” and “blonde”?
@Edwin Ashworth: as others have said, it seems that blond woman is more common in American English than British English, whether deliberately or accidentally. For some British readers it may be jarring, which is as close as a non-prescriptive language comes to being wrong.
Jan
19
comment The Copyeditor's Handbook says this is not a suspended compound
If you leave out the units from the first number, you could run into difficulties with something like "the current mortality data are consistent with between 63 and 136,000 cases" and whether the first number is about half the second or less than a thousandth (the latter in this particular example)
Jan
13
comment Is there an English idiom for trying to do two things at the same time and failing at both of them due to splitting your effort?
"If you can't ride two horses at once, you shouldn't be in the circus" - James Maxton
Jan
3
comment We're finished vs We're done
I would have thought "I'm done ..." is as good or bad as "I'm finished ..."