37,326 reputation
3107181
bio website jsbangs.com
location United States
age 32
visits member for 3 years, 11 months
seen Jul 25 at 15:39

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


Jul
16
comment When did 'permission' become popular as a therapy term
This question appears to be off-topic because it is about the history of psychotherapy, not English.
Apr
30
comment Verb “to be” agreement
This is the correct answer. Why the downvote?
Apr
25
comment How many tenses are there in English?
@PatrickM, must have (been) is present tense, perfective aspect.
Feb
6
comment Are there words native speakers don't use?
The answer is "yes", but there's not really any exhaustive way to answer this question other than giving a long list of words.
Jan
29
comment If the letter J is only 400–500 years old, was there a J sound that preceded the design of the letter?
@Cerberus, I didn't know that about the origin of J. I'll update the answer. In French, at least, the pronunciation of J was originally [dʒ], later reduced to [ʒ], and English retains the older version. I'm not sure if Spanish ever actually had [dʒ]; the Wiki on en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Spanish_language suggests that it didn't.
Jan
29
comment If the letter J is only 400–500 years old, was there a J sound that preceded the design of the letter?
@Cerberus, also, the letter I was pronounced as both [j] and [i] since antiquity, and I believe that even the earliest usage of J was for [j] and not [i]. Are there early examples of the J glyph which clearly indicate [i]?
Jan
29
comment If the letter J is only 400–500 years old, was there a J sound that preceded the design of the letter?
@Cerberus French, as Ledda mentions, and also Spanish. In medieval Spanish j spells [ʒ], which subsequent sound changes have changed to modern [x].
Jan
28
comment If the letter J is only 400–500 years old, was there a J sound that preceded the design of the letter?
@Bruce is Yeshu something other than a late variant of Yeshua?
Jan
28
comment Because of in the beginning of a sentence
What in particular do you think is wrong?
Jan
28
comment If the letter J is only 400–500 years old, was there a J sound that preceded the design of the letter?
@BruceJames To begin with, Jesus' name in his native language was probably Aramaic, not Hebrew (which by Jesus' time was solely a liturgical language, not a spoken language). That said, I don't think there's any real controversy over the fact that Jesus' name was the Aramaic version of ישוע Yeshua.
Jan
21
comment “Am I going the right way for Downwood?” versus “Is this the right way to the station?” Why the change of preposition?
I don't understand why the manual wants you to change "Am I going the right way for Downwood?" That's a perfectly fine question.
Jan
16
comment Plato(n) and similar masculine names
@Oldcat, good point :). In my eagerness I forgot this.
Jan
16
comment What is the correct usage of the word “milquetoast”?
Ugh, milquetoast is the worst kind of toast.
Jan
6
comment Use “have” or “has” any/anyone/anything in the question?
@JohnLawler good point. It doesn't, however, have any direct relevance to verb agreement.
Jan
6
comment Use “have” or “has” any/anyone/anything in the question?
Questions have the exact same rules for verb agreement as statements. The fact that it's a question has no relevance at all.
Dec
31
comment What is the meaning and origin of the common phrase “the world is your oyster”?
This could be a good answer, but please format it nicely and correct your spelling.
Dec
31
comment When should I repeat the definite article?
@PeterShor fixed.
Dec
17
comment Infinitive without to: The first thing I do is open my eyes
@Thruston, what Vilmar said.
Dec
17
comment What is the emoticon “:hsugh:”?
This question appears to be off-topic because it is about emoticons.
Nov
22
comment Starting a sentence with because
There is no rule against beginning a sentence with a preposition. Don't sweat it.