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Apr
24
comment Can I use “some” as a synonym of “very”?
"'Some' isn't used to make 'good' even better -- very does that job." The entire province of Nova Scotia would disagree with you quite vehemently. And "some" can be intensified further by using "right some". It's regional and informal, but it's also proper in the dialects that use it.
Apr
17
comment The pronoun, it is popular…why?
Well, left-dislocation is one name for it. It's more generally called a topic-comment construction, and it's the norm in more topic-prominent languages (French being one notable example).
Mar
26
comment “God's own country”
It's also quite common in Newfoundland, Australia and New Zealand, whose combined total population won't make much of a blip in the world's literary corpus.
Feb
16
awarded  Yearling
Feb
8
comment “Dial M for Murder” meaning
My local exchange, when I was a kid, was OXford 2 (692-[number here]). (Within the exchange, you could drop the OXford when dialing.) I doubt that dialing 6 in New Orleans would have gotten you very far.
Feb
3
awarded  Enlightened
Feb
3
awarded  Nice Answer
Jan
19
awarded  Nice Answer
Dec
21
awarded  Enlightened
Dec
21
awarded  Nice Answer
Dec
16
awarded  Good Answer
Nov
26
comment Why is “forward slash” not spelled “forwardslash”?
When I was a computing kid, many, many moons ago, in a world before CP/M, the reverse solidus was called hack.
Nov
21
comment How far back in time could I travel and still be understood?
That linked Prologue is a long way off. Most of the a instances (particularly in the word and) should be rendered as [æ] (or [ɐ], depending on stress and position) rather than [a] or [ɑ], the e is usually [e] or [ɛ] rather than a schwa in stressed syllables, the o was already starting to head towards [u] (raising) in some "little words", and the t in vertu should probably not be rendered as [tʃ] (that seems to be recent, since naïve spelling much later indicates that the phantom y characteristic of some British and Canadian dialects that caused it hadn't arisen yet).
Nov
21
comment What is the grammatical function of 'Celsius' in “ten degrees Celsius”?
It's more like the difference between avoirdupois and Troy when talking about ounces (weight). Degrees is the number of things, Celsius (or Fahrenheit) is the size and scale of the things you're talking about.
Nov
17
comment Does “five hundredth” mean 0.05 or 1/500?
@JanusBahsJacquet - The number written in numerals as "100" is normally pronounced fully as "one hundred"; the number written as "20" is very rarely (and incorrectly) pronounced as "one twenty" (although "one score" would be fine). That means that "five one-hundredths" is also acceptable, where "five one-twentieths" would not be.
Nov
9
comment Term for nicknames with different first letter
Just to add: names that begin with a vowel may have been rebracketed (a word-boundary shift) to begin with an N in the diminutive (such as Anne→Nan, Edward→Ned, Ellen→Nell) because the first and second person possessives ended in an n (mine, thine), in much the same way as thine eke name is now your nickname.
Nov
2
comment Pronunciation of “catch”
I submit in evidence Perry Como's 1957 recording of Catch a Falling Star, which used /kɛtʃ/ without arousing anyone's ire. An awful lot of speakers use /kɛtʃ/ and /kætʃ/ interchangeably without realising they're doing it; they'll use /kætʃ/ in Catch this! and /kɛtʃ/ in Didja catch it? in almost the same breath.
Nov
2
comment How do you pronounce “O'Nions”?
@nohat - No, it's about how one person (or one branch of a family) pronounces the name. By the standards of ordinary Anglified spelling of Gaelic names, he pronounces it incorrectly.
Nov
2
comment How do you pronounce “xth”?
The only ones that would actually be difficult to pronounce are fth, hth, mth, sth and xth. (The "th" is hard to enunciate with zed, but easy to produce.) The rest sound weird because they're not "real" words and are unfamiliar outside of the narrow contexts in which their use would be more-or-less mandatory (speaking about mathematics, where an arbitrary member of a sequence need to be named). I'm sure that if the original namers of our letters had known what sort of nonsense we were going to get up to, they'd have given some of them more felicitous names.
Nov
1
comment What's that robber's thing called?
Neckerchief would be familiar to people who've been through the Scouting system (at least in the Commonwealth; I don't know about the US). Apart from that, it's about as current as puttees or spats.