37,316 reputation
2107181
bio website jsbangs.com
location United States
age 32
visits member for 3 years, 11 months
seen 6 hours ago

I have a degree in Linguistics, but I work as a programmer. Most of my expertise about English is self-taught, plus lots of random trivia I've acquired here and there.

This is my favorite EL&U comment ever:

This isn't really a question about English so much as a question about hugs. Source


Apr
6
revised Recognizing a Welsh accent
added 133 characters in body
Apr
6
comment Recognizing a Welsh accent
Ha ha about being "pretty good" :). I judge myself only by the standards of most other Americans, for whom all non-North American accents are "English", even if the accent in question is in fact Australian or South African.
Apr
6
revised Inhabitants of Vatican City would be referred to as ____
removed inappropriate [usage]
Apr
6
revised “Please let me know.”
added two more tags
Apr
6
asked Recognizing a Welsh accent
Apr
6
answered “Please let me know.”
Apr
6
comment Speculative conditional: Why does it use the past tense or past perfect tense?
@Louis, Here is the Proto-Germanic verb: wiki.verbix.com/Languages/Proto-Germanic. As you can see, the subjunctive forms are not particularly close to the past forms, though subsequent sound changes made their distinctiveness less clear. The Proto-Indo-European subjunctive and optative are even more distinct. An example inflection is here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Indo-European_verb#.2Ab.CA.B0er-
Apr
5
comment Opposite of 'contaminate'
+1 for enrich.
Apr
5
comment “Would” with a present meaning—is this correct?
@Neil, @RiMMER, I removed [old-english] and just added [archaic], which should clarify things.
Apr
5
revised “Would” with a present meaning—is this correct?
added [archaic]
Apr
5
revised “Would” with a present meaning—is this correct?
replaced [old-english] with [modal-verbs]
Apr
5
answered “Would” with a present meaning—is this correct?
Apr
5
revised A polite substitution for “lamer”
corrected title, as well
Apr
5
revised “May not” — no choice vs. mere restriction
fixed spelling, comma
Apr
5
comment Speculative conditional: Why does it use the past tense or past perfect tense?
@Louis -- Short answer: coincidence. Long answer: They were plenty different in Proto-Germanic and even more different in Proto-Indo-European, but sound changes along the way caused the distinctive characteristics of each inflection to fall together.
Apr
4
comment Is the phrase “please kindly” redundant?
While the opening Please kindly isn't wrong, per se, it's frequently overused by non-native speakers and Indian English speakers, in my experience. Something to keep in mind.
Apr
4
asked Ordering of English sound changes in verbal morphology
Apr
4
comment Speculative conditional: Why does it use the past tense or past perfect tense?
@Louis, I thought I had helped with that. To be clearer: the present conditional uses the subjunctive, which is similar to the past for historical reasons. The past conditional uses the past perfect in order to avoid similarity to the subjunctive. And the future conditional uses the present tense because the present tense is often used for future actions anyway.
Apr
4
answered Speculative conditional: Why does it use the past tense or past perfect tense?
Apr
4
revised Bare infinitive and gerund participle
fixed formatting, spelling, and tags